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Alibaba Q1'20 EPS beats Street but revenue growth slows

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s first-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings exceeded analysts' estimates but revenue growth slowed compared to both the previous and year-ago quarters, the company said Aug. 15.

For the quarter ended June 30, the Chinese e-commerce retailer's revenue climbed 42% to 114.92 billion yuan from 80.92 billion yuan from its prior-year period. Analysts had expected revenue of 111.65 billion yuan, according to the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate.

In comparison, revenue growth for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, was 61%. Likewise, Alibaba posted 51% revenue growth to 93.50 billion yuan for its fourth-quarter ended March 31, 2019.

The Hangzhou-based company reported a jump in non-GAAP diluted EPS of 56% year over year, to 12.55 Chinese yuan from 8.04 yuan a year ago, ahead of the Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate for normalized EPS of 10.46 yuan.

Net income attributable to Alibaba's ordinary shareholders leaped 145% to 21.25 billion yuan from 8.69 billion yuan.

On a non-GAAP basis, net income rose 54% year over year to 30.95 billion yuan from 20.10 billion yuan.

The company's core commerce segment reported revenue of 99.54 billion yuan, up 44% year over year from 69.19 billion yuan from the prior-year period. Alibaba's retail businesses include Taobao and Tmall.

Annual active consumers on the company's China retail marketplaces reached 674 million, an increase of 20 million from the 12 months ended March 31, 2019.

Alibaba successfully reached its target, announced in the previous quarter, to acquire users in lower-tier cities. It noted that more than 70% of the increase in annual active consumers came from less- developed areas. Referrals through its digital payment Alipay app, the 6.18 Shopping Festival in June and simpler interfaces for new users deepened penetration into the lower-tier cities.

Revenue from cloud computing rose 66% to 7.79 billion yuan, while revenue from digital media increased 6% to 6.31 billion yuan on a year-over-year basis, Alibaba said. Tighter regulation of content and rationalization of the digital media industry caused slower growth in this division, which had reported 46% growth in the year-ago quarter.

In premarket trading in New York, Alibaba's shares were estimated to open up $5.64, or 3.48%, at $167.70.

As of Aug. 14, US$1 was equivalent to 7.02 yuan.