Muddy Waters says not issuing negative piece on Baidu Short-selling research firm Muddy Waters said via Twitter than an earlier report claiming it will issue a negative piece on Baidu is false. Muddy tweeted, "Benzinga report MW is coming out with negative report on $BIDU is completely wrong. We have no plans to issue any report on the company." Shares of the Chinese-language Internet search provider are down $3.08 to $146.00 in early trading.
Baidu upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies Jefferies analyst Cynthia Meng upgraded Baidu to Buy saying concerns around search ad spending are overdone. Recent channel checks with top ad agents indicated "strong traction" for performance-based ads, with any cuts to ad budgets being mostly offset by more allocation toward key word search from display ads, Meng tells investors in a research note. At current levels, Meng believes Baidu shares have largely priced in reduced earnings growth expectations. She keeps a price target of $210 for the stock. The Chinese search giant closed Friday up 7c to $152.13.