E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd reported quarterly profit far above market expectations and played down worries of Chinese economic slowdown and USA tariff effects, sending its shares up 6 per cent.
Businesses worldwide are bearing the brunt of slowing growth in China, which has generated a third of global growth in recent years.
Much anticipated regulation of e-commerce in China isn't likely to be very disruptive, and the economy is poised to improve a bit later this year, according to a note from UBS analysts emailed to Retail Dive. Alibaba's shares rallied as much as 3% during pre-market trading on Wednesday.
Alibaba on Wednesday reported that its December quarter revenue rose 41% to RMB 117.3 billion ($17.06 billion), buoyed by its cloud computing business, where revenue rose 84% year-over-year to RMB 6.6 billion.
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Companywide revenue came to $17.06 billion, up333334 41% from the same time a year ago, and below Wall Street estimates of $17.7 billion. They have slumped 16 per cent in the past 12 months but have rallied so far this month.
Alibaba did not issue any guidance for the fiscal fourth quarter. But as Reuters' Grace Lee reports, despite the strong numbers, the company's still being hit hard by the trade war. The company is valued at about $430 billion. Annual growth, however, dropped to the weakest rate in the event's 10-year history as the Chinese economy grew at its weakest pace in almost three decades.
China's economic growth in 2018 slowed to its weakest in almost three decades, amid faltering domestic demand and bruising U.S. tariffs.
Alibaba beat on earnings, but missed on sales.
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On the same call, chief executive Daniel Zhang said the company remains optimistic despite facing uncertainties, adding that younger buyers were driving sales.
Analysts are expecting consumer spending for this year to slow and tougher business conditions are expected for Chinese ecommerce firms due to a weakening economy.
The business has also noted that 70 percent of its annual active consumer growth has come from cities rated as third-tier and lower, as mobile connectivity and e-commerce continues to grow in these regions.
Alibaba's e-commerce business drives the company, but the company has built a cloud business that rhymes with what Amazon has done with Amazon Web Services. Its net profit increased 37% year-on-year to 33.05 billion yuan.
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