Alibaba posts flat revenue growth for the first time
Shares of the Chinese tech and e-commerce giant jumped more than 6% in premarket trading in New York on Thursday. Its stock in Hong Kong had earlier closed up 5.2%.
The pop came despite the company reporting revenue of nearly 205.6 billion yuan (about $30.4 billion) in the quarter ended June, roughly in line with what it recorded the same time last year.
But that topped analysts forecasts, and net income was also better than expected, at 22.7 billion yuan ($3.4 billion).
The company said its retail sales slumped in April and May, particularly as Shanghai and other major Chinese cities dealt with crippling pandemic restrictions that scuttled consumer demand and created logistical nightmares.
But since June, business has picked back up, particularly “as logistics and the supply chain situation gradually improved after Covid restrictions eased,” CEO Daniel Zhang.
Despite growth virtually skidding to a halt, Zhang sought to put a good spin on the latest results, noting the company had overcome “soft economic conditions” to “deliver stable revenues.”
However, he warned a rocky road ahead, pointing to wider economic risks.
“The external uncertainties, including but not limited to international geopolitical dynamics, Covid resurgence, and China’s macroeconomic policies and social trends, are beyond what we as a company can influence,” Zhang told analysts.
“The only things we can do at this moment is to focus on improving ourselves,” he said, adding that Alibaba had focused on narrowing losses across businesses such as its supermarket and food delivery units.
Alibaba has long had a primary listing in New York, where its shares have traded since a massive IPO in 2014.
That comes just as one of Alibaba’s biggest longtime backers is seen to be pulling back.
SoftBank did not respond to a request for comment immediately.