Alibaba Group Holding LimitedBABA reported first-quarter fiscal 2019 earnings of $1.22 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents. However, earnings increased 5% year over year.
Alibaba reported revenues of RMB80.9 billion (US$12.23 billion), up 61% from the prior-year quarter. Also, revenues came in slightly above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of US$12.25 billion.
The revenue increase was driven by strength in the company's core e-commerce business.
Notably, its shares have lost 1.3% in the past 12 months against the industry 's growth of 42.6%.
Revenues by Segments
Alibaba has four reportable segments - Core Commerce, Cloud Computing, Digital Media and Entertainment, and Innovation Initiatives. The details of these segments are discussed below.
Core Commerce : This segment comprises marketplaces operating in retail and wholesale commerce in China, and international commerce. Revenues in the quarter were RMB69.2 billion (US$10.5 billion), reflecting an increase of 61% on a year-over-year basis.
· China commerce retail business (67% of the total revenues) - This business vertical's revenues in the quarter were RMB54 billion (US$8.2 billion), reflecting an increase of 47% year over year. The increase was driven by robust growth in the company's New Retail businesses, mainly Tmall Import, Hema fresh food grocery business and Intime Department Stores.
· China commerce wholesale business (3% of the total revenues) - This business generated revenues of RMB2.2 billion (US$340 million), reflecting an increase of 26% from the year-ago quarter. The increasewas due to a rise in average revenues from paying members.
· International commerce retail business (6% of the total revenues) - Revenues in the quarter were RMB4.3 billion (US$652 million), increasing 64% year over year. The increase was driven by robust GMV growth in two marketplaces, namely Lazada and AliExpress.
· International commerce wholesale business (2% of the total revenues) - This business generated revenues of RMB1.8 billion (US$278 million), increasing 14% from the prior-year quarter. The growth was due to an increase in the number of paying members on alibaba.com platform.
· Cainiao logistics services (4% of the total revenues) - This business generated revenues of RMB3.3 billion (US$503 million). This segment represents revenues from domestic and cross-border fulfilment services provided by Cainiao Network, after elimination of inter-company transactions.
· Consumer services (3% of the total revenues) - This business generated revenues of RMB2.6 billion (US$395 million).
· Others business (1% of the total revenues) - This business generated revenues of RMB878 million (US$132 million), reflecting an increase of 106% year over year.
Cloud Computing : This segment comprises Alibaba Cloud that offers a complete suite of cloud services. Revenues in the quarter were RMB4.7 billion (US$710 million), up 93% from the year-ago quarter, driven by an increase in the number of paying customers and improved revenue mix to higher valued-added services.
Digital Media and Entertainment : The segment operates businesses through media properties that include UCWeb, Youku Tudou, OTT TV service, Alibaba Music and Alibaba Sports. Revenues were RMB6 billion (US$903 million), reflecting an increase of 46% on a year-over-year basis. The segment's top-line growth was driven by an increase in revenues from mobile value-added services provided by UCWeb, such as news feeds and mobile search, along with subscription and advertising revenues from Youku Tudou.
Innovation Initiatives and Others : This segment includes businesses such as the YunOS operating system, AutoNavi, DingTalk enterprise messaging and others. Revenues in the quarter were RMB1.1 billion (US$160 million), up 64% year over year, driven by an increase in revenues from Tmall Genie.
Mobile Monthly Active Users (MAUs) - Mobile MAUs were 634 million, improving 20% from the prior-year quarter and 3% sequentially. This improvement was caused by an increase in the adoption of mobile devices by consumers, as the primary method of accessing Alibaba's platforms.
Annual Active Buyers - China retail marketplaces had 576 million annual active buyers in the 12-month period ended Jun 30, 2018, reflecting 24% year-over-year growth and 5% sequential improvement.
Pro-forma gross margin was 46%, down 1,920 basis points year over year.
Alibaba's operating expenses (product development + sales and marketing + general and administrative) of RMB27.1 billion increased 104.7% from a year ago.
Adjusted EBITDA margin decreased to 36% from 50% in the year-ago quarter, primarily due to higher investments in New Retail and other expansion activities.
Alibaba exited fiscal first quarter with cash and cash equivalents, and short-term investments of approximately RMB177.3 billion (US$26.8 billion) compared with RMB205.4 billion (US$32.7 billion) in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.
Cash Flow/Share Repurchase
Net cash flow from operations was RMB36.1 billion (US$5.5 billion) while free cash flow was RMB26.4 billion (US$4 billion) in the fiscal first quarter.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider
Currently, Alibaba Group has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the technology sector are Cirrus Logic, Inc. CRUS , Infineon Technologies AG IFNNY and Rambus Inc. RMBS , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
Long-term earnings growth for Cirrus Logic, Infineon Technologies and Rambus is currently projected to be 11.1%, 7.5% and 10%, respectively.
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