Alibaba Excites Wall Street With Blockbuster Sales Forecast

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Alibaba Holdings Ltd. is giving Wall Street something to cheer about.

As of 12 p.m. the China e-commerce giant’s shares were up more than 10 percent to $138.82 in U.S. trading on the heels of a bullish outlook from Alibaba CFO Maggie Wu at the start of a two-day investor conference.

On top of the previous fiscal year’s enormous growth, she projected total sales growth of 45 to 49 percent for fiscal year 2018, topping analysts’ forecasts by 10 percentage points.

“Last year, we guided 48 percent year-on-year revenue growth in June, and then we adjusted up to 53 percent by the end of the year, and we turned out to show the growth of 56 percent,” Wu said of the firm’s estimate-beating track record. “So the reason behind that, of course, is the value we provide to the merchants.”

Alibaba CEO and director Yong Zhang said that among the firm’s top accomplishments since its initial public offering in 2014 was the firm’s core Taobao platform’s transition to mobile.

“Eighty-five percent of our transactions today are from mobile,” Zhang said. “And every day, people visit to our mobile app over — averagely speaking, over seven times.”

Last month, Alibaba Group also reported fourth-quarter revenue above analysts’ expectations, with sales rising 60 percent to 38.6 billion yuan, or $5.6 billion, in the quarter ended March 31. (Market watchers had expected the company to post revenues of 36 billion yuan.)

Net income attributable to shareholders rose to 10.65 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), or 60 cents per share.