Baidu Reports $4.57B Q3 Revenue and Abundant Free Cash Flow

Chinese tech and Internet giant Baidu announced on November 22 its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2022, beating market consensus, with Baidu Core’s non-GAAP operating profit increasing by 14% year over year.

Total revenues were 32.5 billion yuan ($4.57 billion) in Q3, increasing 2% year over year, including 25.2 billion yuan fromBaidu Core. Non-GAAP net income attributable to Baidu was 5.9 billion yuan, increasing 16% year over year. However, the net loss attributable to Baidu was 146 million yuan.

As of the end of the third quarter of 2022, Baidu ACE smart transportation solutions have been adopted by 63 cities, up from 24 cities a year ago, based on the contract value of over 10 million yuan for each city.

Baidu Apollo’s automobile solutions continued to gain traction among leading automakers. One of China’s largest automotive and technology companies intends to use ANP (Apollo Navigation Pilot), AVP (Automated Valet Parking) and HD Maps for another popular vehicle model.

Baidu‘s Apollo Go continued to develop and remained the largest autonomous ride-hailing service provider worldwide. Apollo Go provided more than 474,000 rides in the third quarter of 2022, up 311% year over year and 65% quarter over quarter. The accumulated rides provided to the public by automated vehicle service reached 1.4 million by the third quarter of 2022.

In terms of mobile ecology, Baidu still maintained year-on-year operating profit growth and generated strong cash flow. In September, Baidu App’s MAUs reached 634 million, up 5% year over year. In the third quarter, the number of mobile search queries increased by double digits year on year, and the distribution of Baidu App’s news stream increased by 23% year on year. In the field of e-commerce, users are more willing to search for products using the Baidu App, and product-related search queries continue to increase.

Baidu‘s research and development expense was 5.8 billion yuan, decreasing 7% year over year, primarily due to a decrease in staff-related expenses. Baidu returned $272 million to shareholders since Q3 2022, bringing the company’s cumulative repurchase totals to $3.2 billion under the 2020 Share Repurchase Program.

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Overall, Baidu is controlling costs and optimizing efficiency in order stabalize its cash flow. The company is turning its focus towards long-term investments in technologies such as intelligent cloud and autonomous driving. The company reported 6.6 billion yuan in free cash flow in the third quarter while, as of September 30, 2022, cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments were 184.5 billion yuan.

“Looking ahead, we expect our mobile ecosystem to continue generating strong cash flow and fund our investment in AI Cloud and intelligent driving, which will help maintain our leadership in the new AI business and drive long term business growth,” said Robin Li, Co-founder and CEO of Baidu.