Alibaba is set to release its next earnings report on Thursday in what will be the first report with the improved financial disclosures that were unveiled at the June Analyst Day. The online retailer will be breaking down its earnings results into four new operating segments: Marketplaces, Cloud, Mobile Media and Entertainment, and Other Initiatives.
Alibaba to break down earnings into four segments
UBS analyst Erica Poon Werkun and team explained in their report dated August 8 that the new reporting structure will make it easier for investors to grasp the Chinese company’s “long term value proposition. They also expect “qualitative commentary” from management to be focused on the four segments and provide expectations for each segment’s growth and trajectory.
The UBS team also expects Alibaba management to comment on consumer sentiment and spending in China and speak to the mix shift toward mobile spending and its implications on long-term take rates. They’re also going to be listening for more details on the company’s diversification strategies as management focuses on their three key strategic pillars as outlined in the past: globalization, rural development and cloud.
Other major topics they hope to hear more about on Alibaba’s earnings call include the timeline and economics of the initial public offering for Ant Financial and long-term potential for the Internet financing and eBanking businesses. They also want an update on the company’s capital allocation priorities and M&A plans.
What to expect in Alibaba’s earnings report
The UBS team is expecting revenue of Rmb29.92 billion for the fiscal first quarter, compared to Wall Street’s estimate of Rmb30.5 billion. They’re looking for Rmb13.18 billion in adjusted EBITDA, which compares to the consensus of Rmb13.19 billion, and adjusted earnings of Rmb4.3, compared to the consensus of Rmb4.14. In U.S. numbers, consensus estimates suggest adjusted earnings of 63 cents per share, which is an increase of 7% from last year, and $4.5 billion in sales, representing a 47% year over year increase in local currency.
Alibaba management guided for fiscal 2017 revenue growth of 48% year over year, so the UBS team believes their estimates are achievable. They continue to rate the Chinese online retailer at Buy with a $101 per share price target.