Alibaba beats and says it expects sales to surge next year

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Alibaba on Friday reported fiscal-fourth-quarter earnings that were better than analysts had expected.

China’s largest e-commerce company reported adjusted earnings per share of 5.73 yuan, topping the forecast for 5.50 yuan according to Bloomberg.

Revenue surged 61% versus a year ago to 61.93 billion yuan, more than the expectation for 58.96 billion yuan. The company’s cloud-computing unit saw huge growth as revenue spiked 103% year-over-year to 4.385 billion yuan.

Annual active users climbed by 37 million to 552 million while mobile monthly active users jumped by 37 million to 617 million.

“Alibaba Group had an excellent quarter and fiscal year, driven by robust growth in our core commerce business and investments we have made over the past several years in longer-term growth initiatives,” CEO Daniel Zhang said in the earnings release.

Alibaba earned 24.51 yuan per share for fiscal year 2018 on revenue of 250.27 billion yuan.

“We expect revenue growth for fiscal year 2019 to be over 60% year over year,” the company said in its release. “Excluding the consolidation of and Cainiao Network, we expect revenue growth for fiscal year 2019 to be over 50%. We will continue to invest our operating free cash flow to generate long-term sustainable profit growth.”

Alibaba shares gained more than 4% ahead of Friday’s opening bell. They surged 6% this year through the market close on Thursday.

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