Alibaba Gets 24% Price Target Boost On Covid Policy Relaxation and Ant's IPO Prospects

  • Barclays analyst Jiong Shao maintained Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA with an Overweight and raised the price target from $114 to $141.
  • Alibaba's December quarter results are once again likely to feature broadly in-line revenue and better margins. 
  • Alibaba reported second-quarter FY22 revenue growth of 3% year-on-year to $29.12 billion, missing the consensus of $29.45 billion.
  • Also Read: China Gets Hold Of Alibaba And Other Tops Execs Of Chinese Companies To Trumpet Confidence In Domestic Economy On State TV
  • China commerce segment revenue declined by 1% Y/Y to $19 billion, and Cloud grew by 4% Y/Y to $2.92 billion.
  • Non-GAAP earnings per ADS of $1.82 beat the consensus of $1.64. 
  • But more importantly, Shao expects BABA to finally see growth in GMV in the March quarter, the first time in 12 months. 
  • In addition, recent news flow points to the possibility of Ant Group IPO in '23.
  • Ant promoted 20-year veteran Sophie Wu Minzhi to Chief People Officer, replacing Sam Zeng Songbai, starting from January 1
  • The promotion came after Chongqing Ant Consumer Finance won the permit to raise 10.5 billion yuan ($1.5 billion), the first approval since China foiled Ant's $39.67 billion initial public offering in November 2020.
  • Separately, Ant updated its marketing guidelines for financial consumer protection on its website, signifying the acceleration of its restructuring after winning regulatory approvals.
  • Benchmark recently shared upbeat opinions on Alibaba as it eased down Covid lockdowns.
  • Price Action: BABA shares traded lower by 0.01% at $114.98 on the last check Wednesday.
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