Alibaba Holding Co. Posted by stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Wednesday as consumer growth on its online marketplace surged and its tie-up with Starbucks (SBUX – Get Report), the world's largest coffee chain, helped boost revenues and its cloud computing sales surged.
Alibaba said diluted non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in March, the company's fiscal fourth quarter, came in at $ 1.27 per share, up 39.5% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of 95 cents per share. Group revenues rose 41% to $ 13.932 billion and again topped analysts' estimates of $ 13.33 billion.
Cloud computing revenues, Alibaba said, rose 76% from last year to 7.726 million Chinese yuan ($ 1.12 billion), as the group continues to challenge the global market dominance of Amazon's (AMZN – Get Report) AWS and Microsoft's (MSFT – Get Report) Azure.
"More and more, Alibaba is becoming synonymous with everyday consumption in China, growing our base to 654 million annual active consumers and extending our penetration in less-developed cities," said CEO Daniel Zhang. "Our cloud and data technology and tremendous traction in New Retail has enabled us to continuously transform the way businesses operate in China and other emerging markets, which will contribute to our long-term growth."
Alibaba's US-listed shares were marked 4.5% higher in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $ 182.46 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 33%.
Alibaba said its tie-up with Starbucks, which includes on-demand delivery, has reached 2,100 stores in 35 cities in China by the end of the quarter, and that its Alipay and Taobao apps have helped accelerate membership gains for the Starbucks reward program.