Cantor: We Remain Positive on the Outlook for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA)

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) shares bounce 6% after the Chinese online retail giant reported revenue and earnings that topped expectations in the most recent quarter, driven by continued acceleration in revenue growth, as well as continued Cloud services momentum and mobile monetization, which now exceeds desktop monetization.

In reaction, Cantor analyst Youssef Squali reiterated a Buy rating on BABA, while raising the price target to $100 (from $95), which represents a potential upside of 8% from where the stock is currently trading.

Squali wrote, “We remain positive on the outlook for BABA shares and are raising our estimates and PT to $100, on the back of a broad-based 1Q:17 beat, driven by improvement in monetization, which led to Y/Y growth acceleration.”

The analyst continued, “Against a backdrop of a slowing Chinese macro, BABA is benefiting from a rising consumer-led economy, given its 80%+ share of the ecommerce segment. Mobile and Cloud remain big drivers of growth going forward, and the acquisitions of Youku and Lazada expand the company’s opportunity beyond its Chinese ecommerce core. Management’s new segment reporting is positive as it adds greater transparency to this juggernaut and increases visibility into the potential of the different segments and their individual value over time.”

“Our positive thesis reflects: 1) BABA’s dominant position as a cost effective platform to reach Chinese consumers, 2) attractive secular growth given China’s low ecommerce penetration, rising middle class/strong household balance sheets, 3) potential for upside from the economic interest in Ant Financial, and success of Ali Cloud,” Squali concluded.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Youssef Squali has a yearly average return of 14.3% and a 70% success rate. Squali has a 3.1% average return when recommending BABA, and is ranked #4 out of 4110 analysts.

Out of the 31 analysts polled by TipRanks, 27 rate Alibaba Group stock a Buy, while 4 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 4.8%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $97.26.


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