Alibaba beats quarterly sales estimates on e-commerce strength

A logo of Alibaba Group is seen at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

(Reuters) – China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd beat estimates for quarterly revenue on Thursday, as its core e-commerce business continued to grow following China’s emergence from coronavirus lockdowns.

The results come on the heels of China’s surprise suspension of Alibaba affiliate Ant Group’s record $37 billion Shanghai listing that was viewed by analysts and investors as an attempt to cut founder Jack Ma and his financial services empire down to size.

Alibaba’s results also coincide with U.S. presidential election results, with Democrat Joe Biden edging closer to victory.

Under Donald Trump’s presidency, the world’s top two economies have clashed often over trade, forcing many Chinese companies to put off U.S. listings or return to exchanges close to home.

Revenue at Alibaba’s cloud computing business, a focus area for the company, jumped 60% to 14.9 billion yuan.

Sales from Alibaba’s core e-commerce business rose 29% to 130.92 billion yuan in the reported quarter.

Net income slumped 63% to 26.52 billion yuan, as the company had booked a one-time gain last year from its 33% equity interest in Ant Group.

Revenue rose 30% to 155.06 billion yuan in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to estimates of 154.74 yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company’s U.S.-listed shares, which have gained about 39% this year, fell 1.8% in trading before the bell.

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