What’s Propelling Alibaba’s Top Line after Its Fiscal 1Q18 Earnings?


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 2:20 p.m. ET

Top line up 56%

If the financial results for the most recent quarter are any indicator, Alibaba (BABA) appears to be successfully withstanding escalating competition from its fierce domestic rival JD.com (JD). Alibaba registered growth across its various operating segments and geographies.

For fiscal 1Q18,[1. fiscal 1Q18 ended June 2017] Alibaba reported total revenues of ~$7.4 billion (or 50.2 billion yuan). Compared with fiscal 1Q17, its revenues for the latest quarter rose 56%.

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Commerce drives top-line growth

The chart above shows Alibaba’s revenue growth trend for the last five quarters. What is driving Alibaba’s top-line growth? Alibaba credited the double-digit revenue growth it registered in the latest quarter to the strong performance of its core e-commerce and cloud computing business.

Alibaba stated its e-commerce revenues grew 58% in fiscal 1Q18 to more than $6.3 billion. This growth implies that Alibaba is successfully tackling the competition. Alibaba’s major competitors in the e-commerce space include JD.com, Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY), and Walmart (WMT).

In China, where JD.com has stepped up its competition for e-commerce market share, Alibaba registered a 57% jump in retail revenues. Alibaba noted that the gain in China’s retail space was supported by growth in its Customer Management segment, which it previously reported as its Online Marketing Services segment.

Cloud kicks off Alibaba’s top-line growth

Cloud computing was also a notable catalyst of Alibaba’s top-line growth in the latest quarter. The company reported cloud revenues of $359 million, up 96% from fiscal 1Q17.

In the cloud computing industry, Alibaba, which operates AliCloud, is battling for market share with Amazon, Microsoft (MSFT), and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google.


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