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Thu, Jan. 28, 8:00 AM
- Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) is up 2.8% premarket after posting an FQ3 beat fueled by improving Chinese marketplace monetization. Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), whose value remains heavily tied to its 384M-share Alibaba stake, is up 2.4% ahead of its Feb. 2 Q4 report. Top Alibaba rival JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) is also up 2.4%.
- Chinese marketplace performance: Alibaba's Chinese retail marketplace (Taobao/Tmall) GMV rose 23% Y/Y in FQ3 to $149B, a slowdown in growth from FQ2's 28% and FQ1's 34%. However, monetization/take rate improved to 2.98% from 2.7% a year ago, thanks to a surge in mobile monetization rate to 2.88% from 1.96%. That allowed Chinese retail commerce revenue to rise 35% to $4.4B (83% of total revenue), even with FQ2's growth rate.
Marketplace annual active buyers rose by 21M Q/Q to 407M; mobile MAUs rose by 47M to 393M. Mobile was 68% of GMV vs. 62% in FQ2 and 42% a year ago, and 65% of Chinese retail revenue. Alibaba predicts Chinese commerce revenue will grow faster than GMV "for the foreseeable future." The company also says it has "taken aggressive steps to capture market share in key cities and key categories."
- Other businesses: Chinese wholesale commerce revenue +35% Y/Y to $179M. International commerce +17% to $318M, with retail revenue totaling $97M and wholesale $221M. Cloud computing & Internet infrastructure (inc. AliCloud) +126% to $126M. Other businesses -7% to $277M.
The Koubei local services JV with Alipay parent Ant Financial produced GMV of $2.4B, with daily transactions average more than 5M in December. Same-day delivery is offered in seven major cities via Alibaba's logistics platform, and next-day delivery in 88 cities (up from 41 in FQ1).
- Financials: Cost of revenue rose to 32% of revenue from 29% a year ago, thanks to higher traffic acquisition costs and investments in new businesses. R&D and sales/marketing spend each fell to 11% of revenue from 12%, and G&A to 7% from 9%. Overall, costs/expenses were 64% of revenue if including stock compensation, and 51% if excluding it.
Free cash flow totaled $3.66B, topping net income of $2.53B. Alibaba ended FQ3 with $18.3B in cash and $8.3B in senior notes/bank borrowings.
- In other news, the WSJ reports Alibaba has agreed to sell its stake in Chinese local services leader Meituan-Dianping (MEIT - competes with Koubei) for ~$900M. The sale price involves a ~$12.5B valuation, less than the $15B Meituan-Dianping was valued at in a recent funding round.
- Alibaba's FQ3 results, earnings release
- Update (11:08AM ET): Alibaba has given back its premarket gains: Shares are now down 1.7%. Yahoo is down 1%.
Wed, Jan. 20, 11:47 AM
- Tech large-caps aren't being spared as the Nasdaq drops 2.6%, and the S&P 2.7%, in the market's latest plunge. A slew of companies with $10B+ market caps are seeing declines that on many recent days were largely reserved for smaller ex-momentum plays.
- The casualty list includes Alibaba (BABA -5.3%), and that of course means Yahoo (YHOO -6%) is along for the ride. Top Alibaba rival JD.com (JD -6.2%) is also down strongly; Chinese macro fears continue to run high.
- Facebook (FB -4.9%), which (unlike most peers) remains well above where it traded 12 months ago, has fallen towards $90. Q4 results arrive on Jan. 27.
- Cisco (CSCO -5.2%) has fallen below $23. Possibly weighing: Piper's Troy Jensen has reported weak Q4 networking reseller survey results, and predicts Cisco will issue light FQ3 (April quarter) guidance next month with its FQ2 report. His FQ3 sales estimate has been cut by $400M to $11.9B (below a $12.07B consensus).
- DRAM/NAND flash maker Micron (MU -10.3%) is among the biggest decliners, with shares falling into the single digits. Micron now trades for 6.6x an FY17 (ends Aug. '17) EPS consensus of $1.48. Online payments leader PayPal (PYPL -4.4%) is having a rough day as well.
- IBM (IBM -4.7%), meanwhile, has made new multi-year lows after providing soft 2016 EPS guidance to go with a slight Q4 beat. Netflix (NFLX -6%) has sold off in spite of reporting strong Q4 subscriber adds.
Thu, Jan. 7, 2:00 PM
- Hammered three days ago as U.S. and Chinese markets tumbled, the story is much the same today for U.S.-traded Chinese tech firms. The Nasdaq is down 2.7%, and the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges respectively fell 7% and 8.3% overnight amid an ongoing selloff in the yuan, which now trades at 6.59 per dollar.
- The Guggenheim China Tech ETF (CQQQ -4.7%) is now down 8% in 2016. It's still 30% above an August low of $25.36.
- Internet giants Baidu (BIDU -7.1%) and Alibaba (BABA -6.5%) are among the names seeing steep losses. Others include Sina (SINA -6%), Weibo (WB -8.5%), Qunar (QUNR -12.4%), JD.com (JD -6.4%), ChinaCache (CCIH -9.6%), Jumei (JMEI -8.7%), Zhaopin (ZPIN -5.7%), Baozun (BZUN -7.4%), NQ Mobile (NQ -5.8%), and Momo (MOMO -6.1%). Over in Hong Kong, messaging/gaming leader Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) fell 4%.
- ETFs: QQQC, KWEB, EMQQ
Mon, Jan. 4, 12:58 PM
- With concerns about macro issues both inside and outside China's borders running high, the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges respectively fell 6.9% and 8.2% overnight before getting halted. Today in the U.S., the Nasdaq is down 2.6% and the S&P 2.1%.
- Naturally, U.S.-traded Chinese tech stocks are having a rough day. Big decliners include e-commerce firms Alibaba (BABA -6.2%), JD.com (JD -7.9%), Vipshop (VIPS -7.8%), and Baozun (BZUN -6.8%). Others include auto site owners Bitauto (BITA -7.2%) and Autohome (ATHM -8.5%), Sohu (SOHU -6.9%) and gaming subsidiary Changyou (CYOU -8.8%), mobile app developer Cheetah Mobile (CMCM -7%), online classifieds leader 58.com (WUBA -5.9%), and CDN owner ChinaCache (CCIH -6.4%).
- SouFun is down sharply after naming a new CFO. Qunar is seeing big losses after naming a new CEO, COO, and CFO.
- In other news, Alipay parent Ant Financial is looking to raise more funds ahead of a long-expected IPO. Bloomberg reports Alipay is seeking at least $1.5B; the Chinese online payments leader was valued at $45B in a June round. Alibaba is entitled to 37.5% of Alipay's pre-IPO profits, and a 37.5% stake at IPO time.
- ETFs: CQQQ, KWEB, QQQC, EMQQ
Dec. 30, 2015, 11:53 AM
- China's Yibada.com reports Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is ending its travel services partnership with Ctrip (CTRP -2.7%), through which Ctrip's offerings are promoted on Alibaba's travel platform, on Jan. 1.
- The report comes two months after Ctrip struck a deal with Baidu to obtain a major stake in rival Qunar in exchange for Ctrip shares. Alibaba and Baidu compete in numerous markets (I, II). Alibaba launched its Alitrip travel brand in late 2014.
Dec. 15, 2015, 9:13 AM
- The next step for Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) over-the-top ambitions is a big one, with a launch in China and the help of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA).
- Disney is up 2.1% premarket; Alibaba is up 0.4%.
- The two will launch DisneyLife through Alibaba's Tmall shopping site, with shipments beginning Dec. 28 and presales available now. A $125 device in the iconic Mickey Mouse shape will give consumers access to content as well as allow users to plan visits to the company's parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
- As with other foreign companies, Disney can't operate its own TV channels in China. The deal expands a partnership where Alibaba had arranged to distribute products related to Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Disney works with more than 300 stores selling on Tmall.
- The $125 initial payment gets Chinese consumers a one-year subscription to Disney's service; the company didn't say what it would cost for additional years.
- In October, Disney launched DisneyLife as a direct service in the UK, and in Disney's earnings call in early November, CEO Bob Iger said the company was "very interested" in the opportunity to take content direct in other markets.
- Previously: Disney call: Excited for 'Star Wars,' no panic over ESPN (Nov. 05 2015)
- Previously: Disney up 1% as it rolls out DisneyLife subscription service to UK (Oct. 21 2015)
Dec. 3, 2015, 3:59 PM
- While Mario Gabelli has been pressing Viacom (VIA -1.9%, VIAB -2.1%) for details about the health and capabilities of Sumner Redstone, he has some strategic advice as well: Sell some of Paramount Pictures to Alibaba (BABA -3%).
- Gabelli is Viacom's second-largest shareholder, behind Redstone's National Amusements. The two entities aren't strangers: Alibaba took a financial interest in Paramount's Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, and a role in launching it in China this summer.
- The film made most of its money overseas, drawing $487.3M in foreign grosses and a worldwide total of $682.3M. China accounted for $136.8M of the film's grosses.
- Gabelli thinks selling a stake in Paramount to Alibaba can raise funds as well as grease skids to produce more films in China, rapidly becoming the world's top film market. (via Barron's)
- Previously: Viacom statement: Redstone physicians say he's 'mentally capable' (Dec. 02 2015)
- Previously: Viacom down more than 3% as Gabelli calls for Redstone info (Dec. 02 2015)
Nov. 16, 2015, 12:10 PM
- Though JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) missed Q3 estimates, it's guiding for Q4 revenue of RMB51B-RMB52.5B (+47%-51% Y/Y and equal to $8.01B-$8.24B), above an RMB50.6B consensus. Larger rival Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is following JD higher.
- The guidance comes after JD reported 140%+ Y/Y Singles Day GMV growth, albeit without providing a figure. Alibaba saw Singles Day GMV settled via Alipay rise 53% to $14.3B.
- JD's GMV performance: GMV rose 71% Y/Y in Q3 to $18.1B, after growing 82% in Q2; Alibaba's Chinese marketplace GMV rose 28% in calendar Q3 (FQ2) to $112B. Core GMV (excludes the Paipai.com online marketplace) rose 76% to $17.5B. Online direct sales core GMV +52% to RMB61.3B, marketplace core GMV +121% to RMB49.7B. Electronics/home appliance GMV +59% to RMB56.8B, general merchandise/other GMV +98% to RMB54.2B.
- Revenue/metrics: Direct sales revenue +48%, services/other revenue (marketplace fees, ads, logistics services) +111% to $0.5B. Annual active customer accounts +59% Y/Y to 131.9M. Fulfilled orders +85% to 329.7M. 52% of fulfilled order were via mobile devices, up from 47% in Q2.
- Financials: Cost of revenue rose 49% Y/Y to $6B, less than revenue growth of 52% (improved gross margin). Fulfillment spend +63% to $0.5B, marketing +89% to $0.3B, tech/content +73% to $139.2M, G&A +72% to $118.8M. Free cash flow was -$39.6M. JD ended Q3 with $3.67B in cash/short-term investments, and $539M in debt.
- JD's Q3 results, PR
Nov. 11, 2015, 11:40 AM
- Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) 2015 Singles Day GMV of RMB91.2B ($14.32B) is 53% above the $9.34B reported for 2014, and topped analyst expectations of ~$13B. With the help of pre-sales promotions - shoppers were able to place deposits on items over the last few weeks, and then complete the transactions on Singles Day - annual GMV growth was much stronger than the 28% reported for Alibaba's Chinese retail marketplaces for calendar Q3 (FQ2).
- Separately, top rival JD.com (JD -1%) has reported it saw over 10M orders on Singles Day, up nearly 2x from 2014 (no GMV figure has been given). Over 70% of JD's orders were placed via mobile devices, up from 43% a year ago. Alibaba earlier reported 72% of Alipay volume for the first 90 minutes of Singles Day was via mobile.
- Alibaba has sold off on a day U.S. equity markets are nearly flat. The Shanghai composite was up 0.3% overnight.
- Prior Alibaba coverage
- Update (2:59PM ET): Alibaba has issued a PR confirming $14.3B of GMV was settled through Alipay for its retail marketplaces on Singles Day. Mobile accounted for 68.7% of GMV. Shares are down 1.9%.
Nov. 10, 2015, 1:45 PM
- Kandi (NASDAQ:KNDI) will work with Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), UBER's Chinese unit, China Minsheng Banking, ZTE, and JV partner Geely to promote connected EVs in China.
- Alibaba will provide analytics and cloud infrastructure services, ZTE will provide wireless charging technology, and Uber will provide car-sharing solutions.
- The news comes shortly after Kandi announced it will add 200 K17 electric cars to its rental network.
Nov. 6, 2015, 12:34 PM
- Fund manager Jim Chanos has pitched Alibaba (BABA) as a short idea at a conference talk, while citing accounting concerns. Chanos has also argued in favor of going long JD.com (JD +3.4%), which has been seeing much faster GMV growth than Alibaba, as a hedge.
- Barron's questioned Alibaba's numbers - specifically, its user base and spending stats - in a September column. Alibaba published a lengthy rebuttal soon afterwards.
- Chanos has also been bearish on oil stocks and SolarCity. The latter tumbled post-earnings last week due to its solar installation guidance.
- Yesterday: JD.com accuses Alibaba of unfair competition; regulator plans to probe
Nov. 3, 2015, 10:01 AM
- Sina (SINA +4.3%) and subsidiary Weibo (WB +3%) are higher amid speculation (apparently fueled by an analyst note) Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) will make a bid for Sina.
- The companies are less than three weeks removed from jumping in response to Alibaba's bid to acquire online video leader Youku. They fell last week thanks to Citi downgrades.
Oct. 27, 2015, 9:22 AM
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has risen to $35.20 premarket after Alibaba (BABA - up 8%) beat FQ2 estimates with the help of a 12 bps Y/Y increase in Chinese marketplace monetization/take rate (contrasts with FQ1's 19 bps decline) to 2.42%.
- The trigger: Mobile monetization rate (up 52 bps Y/Y to 2.39%) is now nearly even with Alibaba's total monetziation rate, helping mobile grow to 61% of marketplace revenue from 51% in FQ1 and just 29% a year ago. Mobile monthly active users rose 13% Q/Q and 59% Y/Y to 346M, and total annual active buyers 5% Q/Q and 26% Y/Y to 386M.
- Alibaba's China marketplace GMV growth slowed to 28% Y/Y from FQ1's 34% and FQ4's 40%. Total China commerce revenue rose 35% to $2.88B, international commerce rose 14% to $289M, and cloud computing/Internet infrastructure rose 128% to $102M. EBITDA margin was flat at 50%, and free cash flow rose 52% to $2.14B (above net income of $1.46B).
- Not counting any potential tax payments, Yahoo's 384M-share Alibaba stake is now worth $31.6B.
Oct. 27, 2015, 9:17 AM
Oct. 27, 2015, 7:23 AM
- FQ2 gross merchandise volume on China platforms rose 28.3% Y/Y to $112B. Mobile GMV accounted for 62% of the total, up from 36% last year. Revenue of $3.488B up 32%; mobile revenue of $1.655B up 183%.
- Annual active buyers of 386M up 26% Y/Y. Mobile monthly users of 346M up 59%.
- Cloud computing and Internet infrastructure business revenue of $102M up 128%.
- Blended monetization rate of 2.42% up 12 basis points from one year ago.
- 40.8M shares bought back during quarter for $2.74B.
- Conference call at 7:30 ET
- Previously: Alibaba beats by RMB0.21, beats on revenue (Oct. 27)
- BABA +10.8% premarket
Oct. 16, 2015, 9:12 AM
- Youku Tudou (NYSE:YOKU) is up 23.8% premarket following Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) offer to buy the rest of the company -- "China's YouTube" -- at a 30%-plus premium.
- Key Youku shareholders -- including founder and CEO Victor Koo and Chengwei Capital -- have entered a support agreement to vote their shares in favor of the $3.6B cash offer, which values Youku at $4.2B.
- The board is forming a committee of (a pair of) disinterested directors to consider the deal.
- BABA is up 0.5% premarket.
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