Alibaba jack maREUTERS/Herbert TsangJack Ma, chairman and founder of Alibaba Group.

Alibaba shares are getting crushed after the release of the company’s third-quarter financial results.

Revenue at the Chinese e-retailer surged 40% to $US4.22 billion. But analysts were expecting $US4.42 billion.

The stock is trading near $US89 per share, down by about 9.5%.

Earnings, excluding nonrecurring items, climbed to $US0.81 per share, which was much higher than the $US0.74 expected by analysts.

“Gross merchandise volume across our China retail marketplaces grew 49% year on year, and our annual active buyers increased to 334 million in 2014, an increase of 45% year on year,” CEO Jonathan Lu said. “Our unrivalled leadership and momentum in mobile continued — we added 48 million active users sequentially and delivered over US$1 billion in mobile revenue during the quarter.”

All of the business stats at Alibaba are pointing up, and the excited tone among company executives is arguably justified.

But investors and traders were probably just expecting more.

Alibaba went public on Sept. 17. The IPO priced at $US68 per share but opened for trading at $US92.70 per share. That was an instantaneous 36% gain.

The share price got as high as $US120 in November, but it has been on a steady decline.

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