Analysts Share Expectations Ahead Of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Earnings

By Carly Forster

Analysts have been buzzing with anticipation over Alibaba’s (NYSE: BABA) upcoming earnings report, scheduled to be released tomorrow before market open. This report will be Alibaba’s third earnings report as a public company. Alibaba shares last closed at $80, just above its 52-week low of $78.

On average, analysts estimate that the e-commerce company will post fiscal fourth-quarter earnings per share of $0.42 on $2.78 billion in revenue. This marks a potential 44% year-over-year revenue increase.

According to Smarter Analyst, Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital reiterated an Outperform rating on BABA with a $115 price target on May 5 ahead of earnings. Mahaney’s revenue and earnings per share estimates are slightly above the analyst consensus. However, Mahaney noted that “the near-term negatives have been significant.” The analyst notes three specific factors that have adversely impacted short-term value:

1: “The Street has been resetting its BABA China Retail monetization ramp expectations – take-rates should still rise long-term, but the path will be bumpier than expected,”

2: BABA’s lockup expiration from March 17 “likely created some pressure,”

3: “Claims and counter-claims between BABA and China’s State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) have created material headline risk, though we don’t believe fundamentals risk.”

Despite these three factors that have attributed to the stock’s underperformance, Mahaney is still bullish on BABA for the long-term. Manahey maintains that BABA “remains THE dominant Chinese ecommerce platform… [With] a very consistent management team & strategy, and significant option value in terms of non-retail revenue streams [and] international expansion.”

Mark Mahaney has a 63% overall success rate recommending stocks with a +21.8% average return per rating.

Separately, Youssef Squali of Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a Buy rating on BABA with a $100 price target on May 5. According to Smarter Analyst, Squali expects the e-commerce platform to report strong earnings thanks to growth in Chinese retail. Squali’s revenue estimate is in-line with the general consensus though his earnings per share estimate is slightly higher than the consensus at $0.46. Squali is looking for clarification and discussion on the following topics in BABA’s earnings report:

1: Clarification from BABA management “on the controversial topic of counterfeit products and fake transactions,”

2: An update on “consumer demand trends in light of China’s slowing GDP growth,”

3: An update on progress on Tmall Global and “the offering’s traction to-date with both consumers and large brands,”

4: Management’s strategy for expanding e-commerce outside China,

5: Update on initiatives for “increasing mobile monetization and users’ engagement with the platform.”

Youssef Squali has a 61% overall success rate recommending stocks with a +21.3% average return per rating.

On average, the top analyst consensus for Alibaba on TipRanks is Strong Buy.

BABA consensus

Sarah Roden writes about stock market news. She can be reached at​.