Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA) shares climbed this week as it released its quarterly financials and surprised Wall St. analysts. Income was $4.8 billion, an increase of 59% year-over-year. In just the last 5 trading days alone (BABA) has increased by 16% finishing the week at $98.25 per share. Over the past 5 years the company has seen impressive earnings growth of 125.40% and sales growth of 53.40%. The holding company engages in online and mobile commerce through offering of products, services and technology that enable merchants, brands and other businesses to transform the way they market, sell and operate around the world.
Alibaba (BABA) is often referred to as the Amazon.com of China. With a strong foothold in the domestic e-commerce business and a $217 billion market capitalization it has quickly grown in recent years to become one of the largest companies in the world. Compared to Amazon.com, which is worth $365 billion, Alibaba is still smaller in size. However Alibaba’s executives have recently announced a strategy to help grow their business internationally. As they over-saturate the Chinese market Alibaba will be looking towards its neighboring countries to expand their services.
One way for them to gain more business is to extend a helping hand to technology businesses looking to expand into China. A few days ago the e-commerce giant said it would offer guidance to tech companies looking to break into the Chinese market. U.S. based ride sharing business Uber made it clear last week that breaking in is easier said than done. The popular ride-sharing company launched its mobile app in 2010, and it’s latest round of funding already values it at over $50 Billion, making it the world’s most valuable startup. To put that into perspective, both GM and Ford are also worth roughly $50 Billion each. But GM and Ford are publicly traded companies and unlike Uber, they actually produce and sell real cars. But many people believe we are already in another tech bubble. Even one of Uber’s own investors, venture capitalist Bill Gurley, admitted in a Wall Street Journal conference that “all these private valuations are fake.” If companies like Uber wants to continue growing it has to move to the second largest economy in the world, China. And consequently Alibaba’s cloud computing arm unveiled a new program that assists tech firms in branching out through cloud based initiatives. In return Alibaba gets the opportunity to seek out new areas of growth internationally as the domestic economy continues to slow. But as it looks to open up China, the giant online company is also trying to break itself further into other markets, in particular, Russia with a senior representative indicating big plans to expand operations. The online retailer will reportedly launch a pilot project soon which will allow for more local Russian companies to sell goods to Chinese customers under more simplified regulations. Alibaba is also reportedly looking at making big reduction on delivery times for Chinese goods headed to Russia, which should help make it a more attractive global platform.
As of the end of July, Wall Street came up with price targets ranging from $80 to $130.6. This is a standard deviation of $11.069. The 23 analysts used projected a consensus target of $96.939. However now that (BABA) is already nearing $100/share the newer price targets that analysts will be revising should undoubtedly be higher. Alibaba is China’s largest e-commerce company by gross merchandise volume, or the value of goods and services sold across its multiple e-commerce platforms used by businesses and individuals.
This author does not own any Alibaba (BABA) shares as of writing this post and does not plan to own any for the next 72 hours.