Alibaba's shares are on a tear after a huge revenue jump

Billy Bambrough
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China-Based Internet Company Alibaba Debuts On New York Stock Exchange
Alibaba founder Jack Ma started the company in 1999 (Source: Getty)

Alibaba certainly isn't feeling the effects of the Chinese slowdown just yet.

Shares in Alibaba – the world's largest retailer – have climbed by almost six per cent in the US pre-market after it posted revenue far ahead of expectations. Alibaba's shares were already up around seven per cent so far this year.

A rise in revenue was bolstered by a jump in mobile users, with 427m customers using the site every month – and increase of 39 per cent on the year before. Mobile revenue from the company's China commerce retail business increased 120 per cent to 17.51bn yuan.

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Total revenue rose to 32.15b yuan (£3.7bn) in the quarter ended 30 June from 20.25bn yuan a year earlier. A Reuters analyst poll had expected revenue of 30.17bn yuan.

Moving to mobile is seen as one of the biggest hurdles for some of the world's established tech firms with the likes of Amazon and Google pouring millions of pounds into getting users on to their mobile sites.

Alibaba's chief financial officer Maggie Wu said:

We passed an important milestone this quarter in achieving higher monetization of mobile users than non-mobile users for the first time.

Net income fell to 7.55bn yuan from 30.84bn yuan a year earlier due to a one off investment in its movie production company Alibaba Pictures.

Earnings per share excluding non-recurring items jumped 33 per cent to $0.74 per share, beating expectations for $0.63.

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Alibaba – similar to Amazon or eBay – runs an online marketplace where third party retailers sell directly to their customers. Alibaba now has around 360m active buyers and 8.5m active sellers over taking Amazon as the world's largest retailer in April this year.

Chief executive Daniel Zhang said:

Our results show the scale and leverage of our ecosystem, as we strengthen our competitive positions in core commerce, cloud computing and digital media and entertainment.

We are changing the way our 434m active buyers engage with our platform, as we introduce social, community and personalization driven by smart data into our e-commerce marketplaces, realising our vision of Live@Alibaba.’

We are poised for strong profitable growth into the future.

Cloud computing – a key part of Amazon's recent success – generated revenue of $187m over the last quarter, serving 577,000 paying customers.

In May investors were dismayed to hear Alibaba was being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into whether its accountancy practices had violated of federal securities laws.

The SEC requested further details from Alibaba on its accounting methods for Cainiao Network, its logistics unit, and how it reports its operating data for Singles Day.

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