Alibaba Revenue beats estimates, but Profits miss

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) on Thursday reported first-quarter revenue that beat analysts’ estimates. However, earnings fell short of estimates as the company expanded in new business lines and tax expenses increased in the quarter.

China’s e-commerce giant said revenue jumped about 60 percent to 38.58 billion yuan ($5.60 billion) in the first quarter, boosted by new business such as cloud computing and entertainment. Its core e-commerce business remains strong, thanks to robust consumption in the world’s second largest economy. Revenue from e-commerce business rose 47 percent to 31.57 billion yuan in the first quarter.

Revenue from digital media and entertainment businesses jumped 234 percent to 3.9 billion yuan in the quarter ending March 31. While revenue from Alibaba's cloud business rose 103 percent to 2.2 billion yuan.

“Alibaba Group had another outstanding quarter and fiscal year, demonstrating our ability to successfully engage and monetize the half a billion consumers across our platforms,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “Our core commerce segment continued its significant growth and strong cash flow at large scale, enabling our aggressive investment in cloud computing, digital media and entertainment to drive the digital transformation of the economy and high-quality consumption across China.”

Adjusted earnings per share was 4.35 yuan in the first quarter, missing analysts’ estimates of 4.51 yuan per share.

The company also announced a share buyback up to 6 billion.

Alibaba shares fell as much as 4 percent in early trading. But it rebounded later and was down 1 percent at 12.12 p.m.

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