Alibaba Profits Miss, But Revenue Rises

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (ticker: BABA) reported its strongest revenue growth on Thursday morning since its initial public offering, but investors took the opportunity to lock in some gains after the stock’s tremendous 2017 run.

Alibaba’s 60 percent revenue growth in its fiscal fourth quarter is more than double the first-quarter growth rate of American rival Inc. (AMZN), and the Chinese e-commerce market shows no sign of slowing down.

Alibaba reported total revenue of 38.58 billion yuan ($5.60 billion) in the quarter ending March 31, topping Wall Street analysts’ consensus forecast of 36 billion yuan. Net income nearly doubled during the quarter to 10.65 billion yuan (60 cents per American depository receipt) from 5.37 billion yuan in the same quarter a year ago.

On a per-share basis, Alibaba’s income of 4.35 yuan came up shy of average analyst estimates of 4.51 yuan. The income miss was partly due to an increase in the company’s effective tax rate, as well as large investments in cloud computing and video entertainment.

E-commerce revenue increased 47 percent to 31.57 billion yuan, while cloud computing revenue jumped 103 percent compared to a year ago.

“We reported another excellent quarter, with revenue growth accelerating to 60 percent, the highest growth rate we’ve achieved since our IPO,” chief financial officer Maggie Wu said.

“Our robust results demonstrate the strength of our core business, as well as the positive momentum of our emerging businesses, including cloud computing, where we continue to see strong growth and market leadership.”

Alibaba also announced a $6 billion two-year share repurchase plan.

“We continue to see…

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