Alibaba’s Quarterly Revenue Falls Short Of Expectations As Spending Slows

On Thursday, Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK) reported a smaller-than-expected increase in quarterly revenue as COVID-19 restrictions and a worsening economic outlook stifled consumer spending.

Retail spending in China has fallen this year as a result of the government’s strict zero-COVID policies, which have resulted in frequent lockdowns and harmed economic activity.

Alibaba has also had to compete with Pinduoduo (PDD.O) and ByteDance’s Douyin – the Chinese version of Tiktok – which have expanded their e-commerce offerings and gained market share.

In addition, the company has yet to fully recover from a regulatory crackdown on the tech sector, which has limited growth opportunities.

In the three months ended September 30, revenue increased 3% to 207.18 billion yuan ($28.96 billion), compared to a Refinitiv consensus estimate of 208.62 billion yuan drawn from 25 analysts.

Alibaba, which owns a wide range of businesses ranging from logistics to cloud services and operates China’s largest online marketplaces Tmall and Taobao, reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of 20.56 billion yuan in the third quarter.

Alibaba earned 12.92 yuan per American Depository Share, excluding one-time items.

The current quarter has also been depressing. For the first time, the company did not disclose its “Singles Day” shopping festival sales total last week, instead stating that the results were in line with last year, which was its lowest ever growth.

Ant Group, Alibaba’s financial affiliate, is still undergoing a government-mandated revamp and has yet to resurrect plans for a public market debut after its $37 billion attempt at a dual listing in late 2020 was derailed at the last minute.

Ant, which is 33% owned by Alibaba, earned 7.72 billion yuan in the June quarter, a 63.2% decrease year on year. Alibaba reports its Ant Group profit one quarter late.

In its earnings release, the company stated that it would increase its share repurchase program by $15 billion and extend it until the end of the fiscal year in 2025.

By November, the company had repurchased approximately $18 billion in shares under its existing $25 billion share repurchase program.

Alibaba has announced that it will not complete its primary conversion of shares to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by the end of 2022, as previously stated.

(Adapted from WashingtonTimes.com)

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