Alibaba Stock Continues Rising Before Q3 Reports, and Baird Says the Upswing May Have “Legs”

Alibaba Stock

Alibaba Stock (NYSE:BABA)

Investment company Baird said the rise in Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) stock, which jumped 2.5% on Friday and is up over 100% from its October low, will continue through the Chinese internet giant’s quarterly reports next month.

Analyst Colin Sebastian, who has an outperformed recommendation on Alibaba stock, pointed out that the statistics for online retail sales in China for December seem to have improved, while the wider economic circumstances and relaxation in government policy appear to be working in its favor.

Sebastian said in a note to clients, “We estimate that December volumes climbed 15% [year-over-year], accelerating from 13% and 4% in October and November, respectively.” This is to statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics, which shows that online sales of physical items in China grew 6% year-over-year in 2022.

According to our data, online sales dropped by 15% from November to December, which is in line with pre-covid patterns from 2018 and 2019 (-13% and -15%, respectively) and better than sequential trends from 2020 and 2021 (-20% and -24%) due to ‘double 11’ shopping concentrating sales volume into November.

Sebastian said, about the fast run-up in the Alibaba stock, that despite the sharp increase since October and the 40% climb over the previous month, there may be more space to run in the company.

“Contrary to what took place in the west, we do not anticipate a rotation out of e-commerce stocks in China post-pandemic,” Sebastian noted, adding that the stock’s value is still “far below historical average earnings multiples.” This is in contrast to what had a place in the west.

Last but not least, Sebastian pointed out that the company spent $9.6 billion on share buybacks in fiscal 2022, and it still has another $22 billion outstanding as of the middle of November. This comes after it was reported that activist investor Ryan Cohen asked Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) to increase its share buyback program.

It was revealed earlier this month that the Chinese government had purchased what is known as “golden shares” in two of Alibaba’s (NYSE:BABA) media and entertainment subsidiaries.

Featured Image: Freepik @ snowing

Please See Disclaimer

About the author: I'm a financial journalist with more than 3 years of experience. I have worked for different financial companies and covered stocks listed on ASX, NYSE, NASDAQ, etc. I have a degree in marketing from Bahria University Islamabad Campus (BUIC), Pakistan.