Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) and Unilever China announced a comprehensive strategic partnership that will enable Unilever to reach customers across China with unprecedented precision and effectiveness through Alibaba Group’s data-driven ecosystem. Key areas of collaboration include rural China penetration, cross-border e-commerce, consumer protection and Big Data.
“We are very pleased to amplify our partnership with an industry leader such as Unilever,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “We look forward to building on our success in sales over the years and taking the collaboration to the next level. Moving forward, Alibaba Group and Unilever will jointly innovate in Big Data analytics application, cross-border e-commerce, and supply chain management. In this rapidly changing business landscape, we are committed to continually provide greater value to merchants and better experiences to shoppers.”
“Alibaba has changed the shopping habit of Chinese consumers. Its mission is to make it easy to do business everywhere, and its vision is to build the future infrastructure of commerce. This meets the Unilever’s development needs in China,” said Marijn Van Tiggelen, Unilever North Asia President. “Alibaba is the leading internet company in China, with the most innovative thinking. It’s not only an online store, but also a solution platform for online payment, e-finance, and e-commerce logistics. In cooperation with Alibaba, Unilever can provide more convenient services to consumers in China.”
This agreement is a major milestone for a partnership that started five years ago with a single Tmall store, which has since grown steadily on a solid foundation of mutual trust and success over the years. Through this strategic partnership, Alibaba Group and Unilever China will work together to:
- Strengthen cooperation to expand distribution channels, especially for consumers in rural areas to enjoy more convenient access to Unilever products
- Further develop cross-border ecommerce cooperation and make the Tmall Global Unilever store home to the richest selection of Unilever products from around the world
- Expand application of Big Data to optimize Unilever’s digital advertising strategy through Alimama, Alibaba’s online marketing business, and reach more consumers through online-offline retail integration
- Deepen collaboration in Alibaba’s Blue Star program where each product is tagged with a unique QR code that allows the consumer to verify its authenticity and origin. This will help protect Unilever’s brand and combat counterfeit goods to protect the customer user experience
- Develop innovations in supply chain management and offline distribution models
The upcoming Unilever Week on Tmall, scheduled for July 22 to 24, will celebrate the start of this partnership agreement.
Unilever China opened its first Tmall flagship store in June 2011 and, most recently, a Tmall Global flagship in September 2014, leveraging the free trade zone and bonded warehouse model. (Original Source)
Shares of Alibaba Group closed last Friday at $83.36. BABA has a 1-year high of $120 and a 1-year low of $80.03. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $84.76 and its 200-day moving average is $87.43.
On the ratings front, Alibaba Group has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 10, RBC analyst Mark Mahaney reiterated a Buy rating on BABA, with a price target of $105, which represents a potential upside of 26.0% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on July 8, Credit Suisse’s Dick Wei maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $114.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Mark Mahaney and Dick Wei have a total average return of 24.5% and 22.6% respectively. Mahaney has a success rate of 65.2% and is ranked #14 out of 3712 analysts, while Wei has a success rate of 42.3% and is ranked #574.
The street is mostly Bullish on BABA stock. Out of 20 analysts who cover the stock, 20 suggest a Buy rating . The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $105.23, which represents a potential upside of 26.2% from where the stock is currently trading.