Alibaba's Revenue Rises 39 Percent as More Shoppers Buy Online

Alibaba's Revenue Rises 39 Percent as More Shoppers Buy Online
Image credit: Reuters | Brendan McDermid | File Photo

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China's biggest ecommerce company, said fourth-quarter revenue rose 39 percent, beating Wall Street estimates, helped by growth in gross merchandise volume.

The company's American Depository shares were up 3.5 percent at $78.48 on Thursday.

Revenue rose to 24.2 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) in the quarter ended March 31 from 17.4 billion yuan a year earlier, beating the average analyst estimate of 23.22 billion yuan, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"Whatever they are doing must be working, and most importantly it's a sign that the Chinese consumer may not be weakening quite yet," said Gil Luria of Wedbush Securities.

Gross merchandise volume (GMV), or the total value of goods transacted on its platforms on China retail marketplaces, rose 24 percent to 742 billion yuan.

"Alibaba represents a big part of the spend by Chinese consumers and so a re-acceleration in volumes is an indication that the Chinese consumer continues to be strong," Luria said.

Alibaba has been grappling with a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. It is also dealing with signs of maturation after years of breakneck growth for Internet businesses as hundreds of millions of people came online.

To that end, Alibaba has sought to expand into areas outside Chinese ecommerce, and last month said it would buy control of Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada Group for roughly $1 billion.

Alibaba's mobile GMV continued to grow, accounting for 73 percent of total GMV, up from 68 percent in the December quarter.

The number of mobile monthly active users rose 42 percent to 410 million.

Net income rose to 5.31 billion yuan from 2.87 billion yuan a year earlier.

Non-GAAP net income, Alibaba's preferred measure for earnings, shrank 1.4 percent to 7.6 billion yuan from the previous year -- its first recorded decline.

Excluding items, the company earned 3.02 yuan per share, missing the average analyst estimate of 3.60 yuan.

Alibaba's U.S.-listed shares had fallen about 7 percent this year through Wednesday's close of $75.82.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru, Paul Carsten in Beijing and John Ruwitch in Shanghai; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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