Piper Jaffray initiated its coverage of Baidu.com (BIDU) with an underperform opinion.
Analyst Safa Rashtchy said that the company is the largest, most successful search engine in China, with a strong business model, solid management, and massive opportunity. The analyst believes Baidu is a very desirable investment for growth investors, one that deserves a solid premium to its peers. However, the current stock price far exceeds even the most aggressive valuations, and is "distinctly" off the chart, which he believes is not sustainable. Rashtchy thinks the shares will correct to at least acceptable valuations. His $45 price target represents a realistic model with an aggressive valuation premium.