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Alibaba stumbles after earnings disappoint

Revenue was better than expected but earnings were lower
Shares were off almost 3% in early trading

Shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) stumbled after the Asian e-commerce powerhouse declared sub-par profits.

Earnings per share in the first three months of 2017 – the final quarter of Alibaba’s fiscal year – clocked in at the equivalent of 63 cents, three cents less than the market had been expecting.

Revenue was ahead of expectations, however, at the equivalent of US$5.6bn, up 60% year-on-year and higher than the US$5.2bn the Street had been expecting.

The shares fell 2.8% to US$117.33, despite the Chinese firm revealing plans for a monster share buy-back program.

The company intends to repurchase US$6bn of stock, which will offset the effect of dilution from share-based payment schemes.

"Our robust results demonstrate the strength of our core businesses, as well as the positive momentum of our emerging businesses, including cloud computing, where we continue to see strong growth and market leadership," said Alibaba’s chief financial officer, Maggie Wu.


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