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Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA)

  • Thu, Jan. 29, 9:37 AM
    • Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) FQ3 GMV rose 49% Y/Y to RMB787B ($125.9B). However, its monetization rate (revenue as a % of GMV) fell 35 bps Y/Y to 2.7%, leading revenue growth to only reach 40%. By contrast, monetization rate fell just 1 bps (to 2.30%) in FQ2.
    • A major culprit: Mobile grew to 42% of GMV from 36% in FQ2 and 20% a year ago. And the mobile monetization rate (1.96% vs. 1.87% in FQ2 and 1.12% a year ago) remains well below the total rate. Mobile was 30% of revenue vs. 42% of GMV.
    • A bright spot: EBITDA rose 34% Y/Y to $2.43B, better than expectations for 24% growth and driving the EPS beat. Heavy spending led EBITDA margin to slip to 58% from 60% a year ago. With stock compensation spend (IPO-driven) rising to 16% of revenue from 4%, and new business initiatives growing, operating expenses rose to 33% of revenue from 30%, and gross margin fell to 71% from 78%.
    • China commerce revenue +32% to $3.6B (a slowdown from FQ2's 47%); international commerce (AliExpress-driven) +39% to $284M; cloud computing/infrastructure +85% to $58M; everything else (boosted by acquisitions) +266% to $309M.
    • Taobao GMV (driven by smaller merchants) +43% to $80B; Tmall GMV (driven by larger merchants) +60% to $47B. Annual active buyers rose to 334M from 307M in FQ2 and 231M a year ago.
    • Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is following Alibaba lower, and is now down 9% since posting Q4 results and announcing its spinoff plans.
    • Alibaba's FQ3 results, PR
    • Related tickers: OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY
  • Thu, Jan. 29, 7:02 AM
    • Alibaba (NYSE:BABA): Q4 EPS of $0.81 beats by $0.06.
    • Revenue of $4.22B misses by $230M.
    • Press Release
  • Wed, Jan. 28, 5:30 PM
  • Tue, Jan. 27, 4:14 PM
    • Along with its Q4 results, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) announces its board has "authorized a plan for a tax-free spin-off of the company's remaining holdings in Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) into a newly formed independent registered investment company (SpinCo)."
    • Shares in the SpinCo will be "distributed pro rata to Yahoo shareholders, resulting in SpinCo becoming a separate publicly traded company." After the spinoff, Yahoo will own its core business and a 35.5% stake in Yahoo Japan. SpinCo will assume no debt in the deal, and Yahoo will retain its cash.
    • The spinoff is expected to be completed in Q4 2015, after a one-year lockup on Yahoo's Alibaba stake expires.
    • Yahoo's 384M-share (15%) Alibaba stake has a current market value of $39.5B. The company closed today with a total market cap of $46.7B.
    • Yahoo has jumped to $51.08 in AH trading. Alibaba is fractionally higher.
  • Thu, Jan. 15, 9:47 AM
    • Alibaba's (BABA -1%) FQ3 report, its second earnings report as a public company, will arrive before the open on Thursday, Jan. 29. CC at 7:30AM ET.
    • Consensus is for revenue of $4.45B and EPS of $0.75. Shares are down 3% since the Chinese e-commerce giant beat FQ2 revenue estimates, posted in-line EPS, and reported 49% Y/Y GMV growth on Nov. 4.
  • Nov. 5, 2014, 11:32 AM
    • Plenty of firms (including many of the underwriters who just launched coverage) have hiked their Alibaba (BABA +3.5%) after the company beat FQ2 revenue estimates yesterday (while posting in-line EPS) on the back of strong GMV growth and improving mobile monetization.  Both Alibaba and Yahoo (YHOO +2.3%) are making fresh highs.
    • In addition to Alibaba's gains, Yahoo is benefiting from a bullish launch from SunTrust's Robert Peck. Peck considers the weakness in Yahoo's core properties priced in, and believes the Street is "giving little credit to some of the progress made more recently around mobile, native [ads], Tumblr, search, and video." He estimates the core business is being valued at less than 1x EV/EBITDA.
    • Morgan Stanley likes Alibaba's 262% Y/Y mobile GMV growth, and thinks the acceleration seen in Taobao GMV points to improved conversion rates. Meanwhile, Jefferies and BofA/Merrill are pleased with management remarks suggesting an average customer's spending grows considerably over time.
    • Cantor: "A differentiated pricing model, strong brand and unmatched scale continue to give Alibaba an unfair competitive advantage relative to peers both in and outside China. We believe the company's outsized growth and margin profiles should support higher valuation over time."
    • The firm has hiked its FY15 revenue and EPS estimates, albeit while slashing its EBITDA estimate on expectations spending will remain elevated. Alibaba, for its part, doesn't plan to provide guidance.
  • Nov. 4, 2014, 9:44 AM
    • Though it beat FQ2 revenue estimates and posted in-line EPS, Alibaba (BABA +0.6%) reported an 890 bps drop in non-GAAP EBITDA margin to 50.5%. On the CC (live blog), the company attributed the drop to higher marketing spend, mobile OS (YunOS) investments, and the costs of integrating newly-acquired businesses.
    • Not counting stock compensation expenses - thanks partly to the IPO, they rose to 17.9% of revenue from 7.9% a year ago - costs/expenses rose to 52.7% of revenue from 43.4% a year ago. Alibaba notes it increased its "tactical advertising and promotional spending" for its Chinese retail marketplaces.
    • Those marketplaces performed well: GMV for Alibaba's Taobao marketplace (focused on smaller merchants) rose 38% Y/Y to RMB380B, and GMV for Tmall (focused on larger merchants) rose 78% to RMB176B.
    • Also encouraging: Mobile monetization rate jumped to 1.87% in FQ2 from 1.49% in FQ1 and 0.61% a year ago. That allowed total monetization rate to fall just 1 bps Y/Y to 2.30%, in spite of a mix shift towards mobile (now 35.8% of GMV and 29.1% of revenue).
    • Total China commerce revenue rose 47% Y/Y to RMB13.56B, and international commerce revenue (much of it from and AliExpress) 38% to RMB1.62B. Wholesale business accounted for 74% of international revenue, but just 6% of China revenue.
    • CFO Maggie Wu says it's Alibaba's policy to not give out guidance.
    • FQ2 results, details, PR
  • Nov. 4, 2014, 7:33 AM
    • FQ2 operating income of $708M down 17.2% from a year ago thanks to a big boost in share-based compensation. Non-GAAP EBITDA of $1.384B up 30.6%. Non-GAAP EPS of $0.45 up 9.4%.
    • Gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $90.529B up 48.7% Y/Y, up 10.9% from FQ1. Mobile GMV as a percentage of total of 35.8%, up from 14.7% a year ago.
    • Annual active buyers of 307M up 52% Y/Y. Mobile monthly active users of 217M up 138.5%.
    • No forward guidance is provided.
    • Previously: Alibaba EPS in-line, beats on revenue
    • Conference call webcast (no time given, but coming shortly)
    • BABA +1.6% premarket
  • Nov. 4, 2014, 7:04 AM
    • Alibaba (NYSE:BABA): FQ2 EPS of $0.45 in-line.
    • Revenue of $2.74B (+53.9% Y/Y) beats by $100M.
    • Shares +3% PM.
    • Press Release
    | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 3, 2014, 5:30 PM
  • Aug. 27, 2014, 9:52 AM
    • In a revised F-1, Alibaba (Pending:BABA) discloses it had calendar Q2 revenue of $2.54B (+46% Y/Y), and net income of $1.99B (boosted by $1.1B in interest/investment income). Op. income was $1.1B (+27% Y/Y). Revenue growth accelerated from Q1's 39% clip, a figure that had disappointed some investors.
    • Q2 free cash flow was $1.71B. Sales/marketing spend +70% Y/Y to $195M; R&D +68% to $315M.
    • GMV was RMB501B ($81.6B), +17% Q/Q and +45% Y/Y (46% growth was seen in Q1). Mobile accounted for 32.8% of GMV (up from Q1's 27.4%), and mobile revenue more than doubled Q/Q to $400M.
    • Annual orders +14% Q/Q to 14.5B; annual active buyers +9% to 279M; annual active sellers +11% to 8.5M; mobile monthly active users (MAUs) +15% to 188M.
    • Alibaba's Taobao marketplace (focused on smaller merchants) had a Q2 GMV of RMB342B, +33% Y/Y. The Tmall marketplace (focused on larger merchants) had a GMV of RMB159B, +81%.
    • Yahoo (YHOO +0.3%) is up slightly following Alibaba's release, which might be the company's last earnings update before its IPO.
    • Related tickers: OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY
  • Jul. 15, 2014, 4:33 PM
    • Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has further amended its IPO share sale agreement with Alibaba (Pending:BABA): The company is now only required to sell 140M Alibaba shares at IPO time, down from a prior 208M.
    • Yahoo also promises to return "at least half of the after-tax [Alibaba] IPO proceeds to shareholders." That could translate into several billion worth of buybacks and/or a big special dividend.
    • The company guides in its Q2 earnings slides (.pdf) for Q3 revenue (ex-TAC) of $1.02B-$1.06B, below a $1.1B consensus. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to fall to $220M-$260M from $331M a year earlier, and op. income is expected to total $70M-$110M.
    • Alibaba had Q1 revenue of $1.97B (+42% Y/Y), gross profit of $1.4B (+37%), and net income of $906M (+36%). The company already provided many Q1 details in a June F-1 filing. Yahoo Japan (OTCMKTS:YAHOF) had Q1 revenue of $1.06B (-6%), and net income of $311M (-10%).
    • $719M was spent on buybacks in Q2, up from $450M in Q1.
    • YHOO +1% AH. Q1 results, PR.
  • Jun. 16, 2014, 9:35 AM
    • Alibaba (ABABA) had a GMV of RMB430B ($69.1B) for seasonally weak Q1, -19% Q/Q and +46% Y/Y. The Y/Y growth rate slipped from Q4's 53%.
    • Active buyers grew 10% Q/Q to 255M. Mobile accounted for 27.4% of GMV, up from 19.7% in Q4 and 10.7% a year ago. Mobile MAUs +20% Q/Q to 163M.
    • For the year ending March 31, Alibaba had revenue of $8.45B (+52% Y/Y), and adjusted net income of $4.44B. Free cash flow was $5.19B. Revenue growth slowed a bit from the 57% seen for the 9 months ending Dec. 31.
    • Alibaba's Taobao (consumer-to-consumer) marketplace had a Q1 GMV of RMB295B (+32% Y/Y, 69% of total), and its Tmall site (business-to-consumer) a GMV of RMB135B (+90% Y/Y, 31% of total).
    • Yahoo (YHOO) isn't responding well to the numbers. Alibaba still hasn't proposed a symbol or valuation. The company is reportedly looking to go public in early August.
    • Alibaba's revised F-1
    • Update: The figures imply calendar Q1 revenue of $1.93B, +39% Y/Y. That represents a big slowdown from the 66% growth reported for Q4.
  • Jun. 11, 2014, 2:39 PM
    • Acquisition-hungry Alibaba (ABABA) is buying the 1/3 of top Chinese mobile browser vendor UCWeb it doesn't yet own for a mixture of cash and stock. The price hasn't been disclosed, but Alibaba claims the deal is the biggest Chinese Web merger in history, exceeding Baidu's (BIDU +0.4%) $1.9B purchase of app store provider 91 Wireless.
    • UCWeb has a 50%+ share of the Chinese mobile browser market, and also has 35% of the Indian market. The company claims 500M total browser users, as well as 50M users for its Android app store, which competes against Baidu and Qihoo's (QIHU +3.8%) popular stores.
    • More importantly for Baidu (and also relevant for Qihoo), UCWeb claims a 20%+ share of the Chinese mobile search market on the back of 100M active users. A mobile search JV was launched with Alibaba in April.
    • Meanwhile, CNBC reports Alibaba will likely file a new F-1 early next week that includes its Q1 results. Odds are Yahoo (YHOO +0.6%), which has been reporting Alibaba's results a quarter in arrears, will move on the numbers.
    • CNBC adds Alibaba is still expected to go public in the first week of August. Bloomberg previously reported Alibaba is eying an Aug. 8 IPO.
  • May. 14, 2014, 2:19 PM
    • Tencent (TCEHY +8.4%) trades higher after reporting better than expected Q1 earnings, as net income soared 60% Y/Y to 6.46B and easily beating the analyst consensus estimate of 4.04B yuan.
    • Q1 revenues rose 36% Y/Y to 18.5B yuan; online gaming sales jumped 39%, contributing 56% of Tencent’s total revenue.
    • Mobile gaming revenue is beginning to make a significant contribution to revenue, with sales soaring 200% Q/Q to 1.8B and representing 17% of Tencent’s total gaming sales, up from 7% last quarter.
    • WeChat and QQ, the two messaging programs, claim 396M monthly active users, up 11.5% Q/Q, and the number of monthly active users for Tencent’s instant messaging service is 848M.
    • Numbers like these no doubt will help feed the anticipation for Alibaba’s (ABABA) upcoming IPO.
    | Comment!
  • Apr. 16, 2014, 2:22 PM
    • "Holy Alibaba!" exclaims Bernstein's Carlos Kirjner after looking at the Q4 numbers disclosed by Yahoo (YHOO +5.7%) yesterday.  He now values the Chinese e-commerce giant at $245B - 25x estimated 2016 earnings of $9.5B for its core Taobao and Tmall sites + a $7.5B valuation for and Alipay. Taobao/Tmall profits are now expected to grow 41% in 2015, and 28% in 2016.
    • Wells Fargo and Gabelli have upgraded Yahoo: The latter calls shares "ready for takeoff" as hype surrounding Alibaba's (ABABA) IPO - an F-1 reportedly could arrive by Monday - continues growing.
    • Looking at Yahoo itself, UBS (Buy) is pleased with the top-line impact of the company's in-stream ads (now 20% of display ad volume). It's less happy with Yahoo's vague CC remarks (transcript) about the tax impact of Alibaba share sales and future cash returns, EBITDA weakness (due to growth investments), and high headcount.
    • SunTrust (Buy) observes rising mobile ad sales (along with in-stream and premium ads) helped display impressions rise 7%, and that the Americas (where new ad products have been launched first) is outperforming.
    • Marissa Mayer mentioned on the CC Yahoo's news app is respectively ranked #1 and #2 in the news app category on the App Store and Google Play, that most mobile search metrics rose nearly 100% Y/Y, and that video streams (boosted by the Olympics and recent content deals) rose 30% Q/Q.
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Company Description
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is an online & mobile commerce company. Through its subsidiaries, it provides retail and wholesale marketplaces available through both personal computer and mobile interfaces.
Sector: Services
Country: China