Alibaba profit up 37%, shares rise more than 6%

Internet giant Alibaba saw its revenue growth slow in the final three months of past year, in quarterly results likely to stir up concerns over the weaker China market, recently signalled to by USA tech giants.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. reported a 41% rise in quarterly revenue, the slowest growth since 2016, reflecting tightening purse strings as the world's second-largest economy cools. That compares to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $1.68 in EPS and $17.68 billion in revenue, as well as the $1.53 per share and $11.96 billion posted in the same period of past year.

Revenue growth, the key measure of the company's business health, indeed slowed in the quarter.

Tsai also brushed aside concerns about the trade war, saying people were overly anxious about its impact on China's economy.

Net income rose 33 percent to 30.96 billion yuan, however, beating estimates and sending Alibaba's stock up by about 1.6 percent in pre-market trade.

Asia's second most valuable public company published revenue of 117.28bn yuan (£13.4bn) for the three months to 31 December, compared to 83bn yuan a year earlier. The firm had projected for a ¥119.4 billion in sales for the quarter.

In today's statement, Alibaba also reminded investors of its $6 billion share buyback plan launched in September.

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"Alibaba had another strong quarter".

"Our growth is also driven by the power of Alibaba's cloud and data technology that help expedite the digital transformation of millions of enterprises", Zhang said.

Anticipating headwinds from economic uncertainty, Alibaba had lowered its revenue outlook for its financial year ending March even before the top sales season. The company said it has since repurchased 10.86 million of its ADSs for $1.6 billion.

Alibaba finance chief Maggie Wu said the profitability from the company's core commerce business allowed it to generate the money to continue to invest.

Growth is expected to ease further this year.

Meanwhile, digital media and entertainment brought in revenue of RMB6.49 billion, while revenue from cloud computing operations totaled RMB6.61 billion, up 84% year-over-year.

  • Darren Santiago