Alibaba surge in Hong Kong after strong earnings beat

Alibaba surge in Hong Kong after strong earnings beat
Published - May 27, 2022 @ 11:18 AM (EET)

On Friday, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (SEHK:9988) (NYSE:BABA) shares soared in Hong Kong, extending the positive momentum from U.S. trading overnight as investors welcomed the company's better-than-expected earnings.


After its American depositary receipts closed 15% higher on Thursday, shares of the Chinese e-commerce giant jumped as much as 14% in Hong Kong to 92.40 Hong Kong dollars (US$11.77).


For its fourth quarter, Alibaba reported non-GAAP earnings per ADS of $1.15 on revenues of $32.19 billion, up 19% from a year earlier and beating the consensus estimate of $1.10 and revenues of $29.94 billion.


However, management refrained from providing its usual revenue forecast for the year, citing the unpredictable impact of a Covid zero policy that has resulted in continual lockdowns of cities and businesses in China.


While the company didn't offer a forward outlook, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang emphasized his company would pursue higher-quality expansion, keep costs minimal and improve its ability to build cloud and digital infrastructure for customers.


Despite all of its challenges, Alibaba generated more than $15 billion in free cash flow for the full year 2022.  Annual active consumers reached about 1.31 billion for the 12 months ended 31 March, up 28.3 million from the 12 months ended 31 December.


WHY IT MATTERS


Growth at China's biggest tech companies has slowed significantly as the industry grapples with mounting domestic headwinds on top of a regulatory crackdown that started in 2020.


In what would have been the world's largest public offering in 2022, China's government forced Alibaba's finance affiliate, Ant Group Co., to call off the listing and then launched reforms that have undercut Alibaba's business model.


Earlier this month, Vice Premier Liu He said the government would support the development of digital economy companies giving hopes that the regulatory tightening on private enterprise will soon end.

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