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Baidu Announces $2 Billion Share Buyback After Profit Beats

Baidu Inc. reported a third-quarter profit that topped projections and announced its second buyback in three months after curbing growth in spending on services like online shopping and travel.

China’s leading search provider posted adjusted earnings per ADS of $1.43 a share, exceeding the $1.28 average of analysts’ projections, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Baidu may buy back as much as $2 billion of stock over the next two years, the company said in a Friday statement outlining its largest buyback program on record.

Chairman and founder Robin Li is boosting spending to compete with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. in online services from restaurant bookings to movie tickets, to drive growth beyond search advertising. China’s three largest Internet companies are vying for a slice of an “O2O” or online-to-offline market expected to grow to 7.2 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) by 2017, according to IResearch.

On Friday, Baidu re-named its core business “search services” while rebranding the O2O unit “transaction services.”

“Transaction services is the biggest bet we’re...