Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba (BABA) unveiled fresh guidance on Wednesday as it posted better-than-expected results for its fiscal fourth quarter, bolstered by rising numbers of consumers from less developed cities in Asia.
The Hangzhou-headquartered company, founded in 1999 by a team led by former English teacher Jack Ma, generated RMB 93.5 billion ($13.9 billion) in revenue in the three month period ended March 31, up 51% year-on-year. This was comfortably ahead of the consensus estimate of analysts polled by Capital IQ for RMB 91.68 billion.
Adjusted earnings per share came in at RMB 8.57, up 50% from the prior year period and also ahead of the Street’s forecast for RMB 6.50.
Supporting the results was an increase in Alibaba’s annual active consumers on its China retail marketplaces to 654 million, an increase of 18 million from the period ended Dec. 31. Mobile active users in the company’s China retail marketplaces reached 721 million in March 2019, an increase of 22 million over December.
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The company said that the growth reflected successful user acquisition programs, such as referrals through the Alipay app, and was an indicator of increased consumption activities on Alibaba’s platforms. In fiscal year 2019, the company said that more than 70% of the increase in annual active consumers was from less developed cities.
“Our cloud and data technology and tremendous traction in new retail have enabled us to continuously transform the way businesses operate in China and other emerging markets, which will contribute to our long-term growth,” Daniel Zhang, chief executive of Alibaba Group, said.
For fiscal 2020, the company said that it expects to generate more than RMB 500 billion in revenue. In the fiscal year ended March 31, revenue rose RMB 376.8 billion