Baidu stock (NASDAQ:BIDU) gained more than 2%, to roughly $176 per share, in midday trading today due to reports that the Chinese tech giant is open-sourcing its self-driving car technology. This endeavor, referred to as "Apollo" by Baidu, is its latest effort to solidify its position as a leader of innovation on a global level. If successful, automakers will be able to integrate Baidu's self-driving platform into any future car models of their choosing.
Roller-coaster Ride for Baidu Stock Over the Past Year
Baidu's stock has experienced significant whiplash over the past year. Shares peaked in late September, reaching about $196 per share. The stock then quickly retreated to the $160's price range. The 52-week low for the stock was near the end of June when it was trading close to $156 per share.
Baidu Going Forward
While this strategic move is a great form of diversification for the company, its stock is more likely going to trade with the overall markets and earnings reports. This open-source initiative for self-driving cars will take a considerable amount of time for the company to continue to develop and for automakers to safely integrate into vehicles. Nonetheless, Wall Street certainly favors these types of business-level strategies compared to initiatives like Baidu's online-to-offline (O2O) spending.
BIDU Stock Rating
The Stock Trader Blog is adding Baidu stock to our Bullish List. This stock appears to trade at a relatively conservative level when growth opportunities are factored in on a conservative basis. Furthermore, the technical indicators suggest bullish sentiment by the investment community. Shares of Baidu have a low beta, but a large part of this is likely due to currency effects and lower correlation between the US and Chinese financial markets. Perhaps most importantly, Baidu has been a top pick for some of the best money managers/traders in the world.