What to Watch When Alibaba Reports Thursday

Chris Lange

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) is set to report its fiscal first-quarter earnings results before the markets open on Thursday. The consensus estimates are calling for $1.46 in earnings per share (EPS) and $15.82 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.16 on $11.66 billion in revenue.

During the fiscal fourth quarter, mobile monthly active users on the China retail marketplaces reached 721 million, an increase of 22 million year over year.

Alibaba’s core commerce segment delivered robust revenue growth of 51% in the fourth quarter. The strong performance of the segment was driven primarily by effective user acquisition, growth of China retail marketplaces and the expansion of the total addressable market.

At that time, Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba, commented:

More and more, Alibaba is becoming synonymous with everyday consumption in China, growing our base to 654 million annual active consumers and extending our penetration in less-developed cities. Our cloud and data technology and tremendous traction in New Retail have enabled us to continuously transform the way businesses operate in China and other emerging markets, which will contribute to our long-term growth.

Excluding Wednesday’s move, Alibaba had outperformed the broad markets, with the stock up about 20% year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the stock was actually down 9%.

A few analysts weighed in on Alibaba ahead of the report:

  • Jefferies has a Buy rating with a $216 price target.
  • Morgan Stanley has a Buy rating with a $207 target.
  • Macquarie has a Buy rating and a $226 price target.
  • UBS has a Buy rating with a $210 target price.
  • Loop Capital has a Buy rating and a $250 price target.

Shares of Alibaba traded down about 2% to $160.40 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $129.77 to $195.72. The consensus price target is $217.76.