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Alibaba misses EPS forecast

Reuters
Saturday, May 20, 2017

ALIBABA Group Holding Ltd plans to buy back shares worth up to $US6 billion ($F12b) over two years, the company said on Thursday, as it beat first-quarter revenue forecasts but fell short of earnings estimates.

The Chinese company, which is targeting news business lines such as cloud computing, big data, entertainment and offline retail as it expands beyond e-commerce, said the share repurchase scheme would replace its existing buyback program.

Alibaba said growth in new business lines contributed to an increase in total revenue to 38.6 billion yuan ($F11b) in the quarter to the end of March, above an average forecast of 36b yuan ($F10b) according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"Our revenue base is now more diversified," chief financial officer Maggie Wu said, adding that Alibaba's cloud and entertainment sectors became "more meaningful growth drivers" during the quarter.

The firm said, however, that overall earnings in the quarter were hit by tax increases after a local tax reduction linked to Alibaba's investment in Chinese electronics retailer Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd expired.

Alibaba's adjusted earnings per share (EPS) came in at 4.35 yuan ($1.33), below estimates of 4.48 yuan ($F1.37).








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