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Alibaba shares rise as quarterly revenues surge 54% YOY

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. shares jumped in early trading after the company posted higher revenues for the December 2016 quarter, driven by growth in the company's China commerce retail, cloud computing and digital media businesses.

The company on Jan. 24 posted revenue of $7.67 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016, up 54% year over year. Revenue from core commerce increased 45% year over year to $6.71 billion, while the company's cloud computing business gained 115% to $254 million and digital media and entertainment revenue soared 273% to $585 million. Revenue from innovation initiatives and others increased 61% to $122 million.

Looking at user metrics, mobile monthly active users on the company's China retail marketplace reached 493 million in the December 2016 quarter, an increase of 43 million from the September 2016 quarter. Annual active buyers on the company's China retail marketplace reached 443 million, an increase of 4 million from the 12-month period ended in September 2016. Paying customers for Alibaba's cloud computing business grew to 765,000 in the December 2016 quarter.

Speaking during a Jan. 24 earnings conference call, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang said the company's main objectives for this year are to ramp up its globalization efforts, expand its presence in rural China and better utilize big data. The executive said Alibaba has access to vast troves of data that it plans to leverage to provide personalized experiences for its customers.

Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders for the December 2016 quarter came to $2.57 billion, or $1 per share, up 43% from the prior-year period. On a non-GAAP basis, net income for the quarter came to $3.24 billion, or $1.30 per share.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus EPS estimate for the December quarter was $1.13 on a normalized basis and 76 cents on a GAAP basis.

Looking ahead, Alibaba raised its 2017 full-year guidance for revenue growth to 53% from 48%.