Alibaba beats estimates as pandemic fuels online, cloud computing demand
(Reuters) – China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd <BABA.N> beat quarterly revenue and profit estimates on Thursday, as its core commerce and cloud computing businesses continued to grow following China’s emergence from the coronavirus lockdown.
Sales from the commerce business alone jumped 34% to 133.32 billion yuan ($19.27 billion) in the quarter ending in June, slightly slower than a year earlier but still enough to prod its shares higher after the results.
The company’s stock has soared 23% this year as investors globally poured money into technology businesses seen as “stay-at-home” winners from the pandemic, and Alibaba said it had bounced back from a hit to Chinese consumer spending at the start of this year.
“Our domestic core commerce business has fully recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels across the board, while cloud computing revenue grew 59% year-over-year,” Chief Financial Officer Maggie Wu said in a statement.
Alibaba is one of the big businesses seen as a potential target if President Donald Trump makes further moves against Chinese companies, following restrictions on Chinese-owned video platform TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat.
“Today, we face uncertainties from not only the global pandemic but also increasing tensions between U.S. and China,” Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said.
“We are closely monitoring the latest shift in U.S. government policies towards Chinese companies which is a very fluid situation.”
On Monday, JD.com <9618.HK> beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly sales, while Pinduoduo Inc <PDD.O> is expected to report second-quarter results on Friday. Alibaba’s net income attributable to ordinary shareholders more than doubled to 47.59 billion yuan from 21.25 billion yuan.
Excluding items, the company earned 14.82 yuan per American depository share (ADS) versus expectations of 13.78 yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Revenue was 153.75 billion yuan versus a forecast 147.77 billion yuan.
($1 = 6.9189 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Nilanjana Basu and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Josh Horwitz in Shanghai; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Patrick Graham)