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Baidu forecasts strong Q4 revenue, shares rise

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Chinese Internet company Baidu Inc said it experienced strong growth in mobile search revenue during the third quarter and forecast better-than-expected revenue for the final three months of the year.

Shares of Baidu were up 5.6 percent to $168.30 in after hours trading on Tuesday.

Baidu, the largest Internet search engine in China, projected that revenue in the fourth quarter will range between 9.220 billion yuan and 9.480 billion yuan. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S were looking for Q4 revenue of 8.904 yuan.

Baidu's net income saw a slight bump in the third quarter, rising 1.3 percent to 3.048 billion yuan.

Jennifer Li, Baidu's chief financial officer, said in a statement that the company would continue to "invest aggressively" in the mobile market. The company cited strength in its mobile search revenue during the third quarter, though it did not disclose the amount of its mobile revenue.

Baidu has made an aggressive push into China's rapidly expanding mobile market, which saw it buy assets worth more than $2 billion during the quarter including app store 91 Wireless for $1.85 billion, China's biggest deal in the tech sector.

Baidu also snapped up social network company Renren Inc's group-buying firm Nuomi Holdings Inc for $160 million as it seeks to diversify from its core search business, where it is losing market share to upstart Qihoo 360 Technology Co

Baidu's total revenue in the third quarter was 8.892 yuan, up 42 percent year-on-year and slightly above the average analyst estimate of 8.811 yuan.