Alibaba Beats Forecasts With Coud Computing

While the giant's core e-commerce business has slowed, its diversification push has led to better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter.

Author: CapitalWatch Staff   

Shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) were trading $1.09 higher by noon Wednesday after the company, China's e-commerce destination Number One, beat analysts' expectations on revenue and income in the fourth fiscal quarter.

Alibaba reported revenue of $13.9 billion for the three months through March, at an increase of 51 percent from a year ago, thanks to growth in its core business and its diversification into cloud computing and other services.

Income attributable to ordinary shareholders was $3.8 million, or $1.47 per share, it said, up 50 percent year-over-year.

The results sent the stock of the giant to $175.95 per American depositary share intraday, about 1 percent above yesterday's close, though it peaked up to $178.80 earlier on the day.

Alibaba has invested in new business lines such as cloud computing as a boom in its core e-commerce has peaked and its top-line growth is slowing. While revenue from the giant's e-commerce grew 51 percent from a year ago, revenue from its cloud computing business rose 76 percent in the fourth quarter, it said.

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While still solid, Alibaba's top-line growth rates have slowed sharply from a few years ago, as have those of domestic rivals such as JD.com Ltd. (Nasdaq: JD), which last week reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth since it listed in 2014.

As of March 31, Alibaba said it had 654 million annual active consumers on its China retail marketplaces. An additional 22 million mobile monthly active users (MAUs) have joined during the quarter, totaling 721 million.

"More and more, Alibaba is becoming synonymous with everyday consumption in China, growing our base to 654 million annual active consumers and extending our penetration in less-developed cities," Daniel Zhang, the chief executive officer of Alibaba, said in a statement today.

He added, "Our cloud and data technology and tremendous traction in New Retail have enabled us to continuously transform the way businesses operate in China and other emerging markets, which will contribute to our long-term growth."

Alibaba said it expects its revenue for the full fiscal year ending in March 2020 will top 500 billion yuan, which would be a 33 percent increase on the previous year.

 (Reuters contributed to this article)


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