Alibaba Q2 2020: A strong financial quarter, but with a revenue miss


Alibaba has reported relatively strong second-quarter financial results, with e-commerce recovery and increasing consumer spending habits tipped as a reason for continual growth. 

On Thursday, November 5, Alibaba Group reported Q2 2020 results (statement) (.PDF), ending September 30, of $22.84 billion, up 30% year-over-year, with diluted earnings per share (EPS) (ADS) of $1.54, or non-GAAP diluted EPS of $2.65, an increase of 37% year-over-year.

However, analysts expected revenues of $23.22 billion. The consensus EPS was $2.06.

Net income for the quarter was reported as $3.9 billion, or $4.23 billion attributable to standard shareholders. Excluding last year’s one-time gain of a 33% equity stake in Ant Group and associated share-based compensation schemes, Alibaba reported non-GAAP net income of $6.9 billion, an increase from $6.74 billion reported in the first quarter, ending June 30.

In total, Alibaba’s China retail marketplace now accounts for 757 million active consumers, in comparison to 742 million in Q1 2020. There were 881 million mobile monthly active users recorded by the end of the quarter.

On November 1, Alibaba launched the first of two 11.11 shopping event “festivals.” Alibaba said “hundreds of millions” of consumers attended the first event, which “indicates a solid rebound of consumer spending in China, demonstrating the importance of the opportunity it presents for international brands and small businesses,” according to the company. 

The second event is due to take place on November 11.  

The Chinese technology giant’s cloud business, Alibaba Cloud, reported revenues of $2.19 billion, an increase of 60% as demand remains stable for both public and private cloud solutions. 

In August, Alibaba launched three new hyperscale data centers across China as part of a three-year, $28 billion investment into modern cloud infrastructure. 

“Alibaba had another strong quarter. We continued to help businesses recover and find new opportunities for growth through digitalization in the post-pandemic landscape. The solid performance of our core commerce and robust growth of Alibaba Cloud are the direct results of our commitment to value creation for customers,” commented Daniel Zhang, Alibaba CEO. “We remain focused on our three long-term growth engines — domestic consumption, cloud computing and data intelligence, and globalization — to effectively capture opportunities from the ongoing changes in consumer demand and acceleration of digitalization of businesses across our digital economy.” 

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