Boosted by increased usage during the Beijing Olympics, Chinese search engine Baidu’s Q3 profits came in at $51.2 million (347.9 million yuan), or $1.47 per share, up 91 percent from last year’s $24.2 million (181.7 million yuan). Revenues increased by 85 percent, to $135.4 million (919.1 million yuan), from $66.3 million (496.5 million yuan) in Q307. The company beat estimates (via WSJ) although just barely for revenue; analysts polled by Thomson Reuters (NASDAQ: TRIN) expected earnings of $1.28 per share on revenue of $135 million. The engine was also able to attract more advertisers — and get them to spend more — than in previous quarters. Baidu (NSDQ: BIDU) had 194,000 customers in Q3, up 7 percent from Q2, and up almost 36 percent year-over-year. Average revenue per customer came in at 4,700 yuan ($692), up 6.8 percent from Q2 and up 34 percent year-over-year.
Still, Baidu’s stock price fell by as much as 4.4 percent after it posted earnings, after a forecast in the low range of estimates and against a backdrop of uncertainly about China’s post-Olympics economy. The engine forecast Q4 profits to be in the 1,025 million yuan ($151 million) to 1,055 million yuan ($155 million) range, up 80 to 85 percent from last year, and up 12 to 15 percent from the previous quarter.