Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NASDAQ:BABA) appears to be unaffected by the macroeconomic pressures impacting the rest of China as it beat estimates for both revenue and earnings. Analysts quickly started upping their price targets following Thursday’s report, although interestingly enough, at least one firm actually slashed its target for the online retailer’s stock.
Alibaba affected by the Chinese consumer
One of the biggest reasons analysts have been so cautious on Alibaba is the Chinese consumer. However, the online retailer’s revenue grew 33% to $3.75 billion, beating the consensus of $3.56 billion. Also it grew its active user base 21% from last year, and average consumption grew 2% on a currency neutral basis, which suggests that consumers have not changed their buying habits much despite the signs of economic woes in the Chinese economy.
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Further, analysts were happy with the continued acceleration in Alibaba’s cloud business as cloud revenue skyrocketed 175% year over year to $165 million, compared to the 126% increase in the previous quarter. The company doubled its customer count to more than 500,000, and most analysts agree that Alibaba’s cloud opportunities are significant.
Wedbush Securities analysts raised their price target on Alibaba from $75 to $80 per share, but they remain Neutral-rated on the stock as they await more data on how the Chinese consumer is doing and on the company’s market share. They think the data points have just been too inconsistent.
Also RBC Capital Markets analysts upped their target from $89 to $105 per share.
Alibaba stock price target cut by Daiwa
Daiwa Capital markets analyst John Choi in the minority on Alibaba as he actually trimmed his price target from $95 to $93 per share, although he maintains his Buy rating on the stock. His target price target falls along with his estimate for fiscal 2017 adjusted earnings.
He applauded management’s increase in financial transparency, calling it “a positive surprise.” Starting with the next earnings report, Alibaba will start including an annual outlook for sales, another disclosure on new businesses against the core e-commerce business, and more disclosures on Cainiao Logistic. Management also plans to give analysts a more thorough view of Ant Financial on the company’s next Investor Day, which will be held next month.
Shares of Alibaba edged 0.1% higher to $78.87 during regular trading hours today after a huge day on Thursday.