New York-listed shares of Chinese online retailer Alibaba jumped 3.72% to $78.60 in pre-market trading Thursday after the company reported strong revenue growth in the March quarter. Fiscal fourth quarter revenues jumped 39% to 24.2 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) compared to 17.4 billion yuan in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts on average were expecting 23.2 billion in Q4 revenues.
Alibaba’s Q4 GMV jumps to 742 billion yuan
Adjusted earnings per share came in at 3.02 yuan, falling short of Wall Street projections of 3.60 yuan. Alibaba said in March that its total gross merchandise volume (GMV) had surpassed 3 trillion yuan even before the fiscal year ended. The company has been pushing deeper into rural areas and expanding overseas to boost revenues as China’s economic growth cools.
GMV or the total value of goods transacted on its platforms rose 24% to 742 billion yuan in March quarter. Wedbush Securities analyst Gil Luria said Alibaba is still growing rapidly while maintaining very high margins despite the slowing Chinese economy. It indicates that their business is holding up well. “Whatever they are doing must be working,” said Luria.
Mobile accounted for 73% of the total transactions, up from 68% in the December quarter. The number of mobile monthly active users jumped an impressive 42% to 410 million. The Hangzhou-based company said its net income increased to 5.31 billion yuan from 2.87 billion in the corresponding quarter a year ago. However, non-GAAP net income fell 1.4% to 7.6 billion yuan.
Alibaba penetrating into rural areas
To get its e-commerce platforms in front of rural China, Alibaba is working with local officials to train potential sellers and buyers. It has also set up free Internet-equipped PCs in more than 12,000 villages across the country. On the international expansion front, it has acquired a controlling stake in Southeast Asian e-commerce player Lazada for $1 billion. Alibaba is also setting up an office in Australia.
Famous short-seller Jim Chanos said earlier this week that he was still shorting Alibaba. Chanos also has a bearish view on the Chinese economy.