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Alibaba Reports 39% Sales Increase

(6/26/2014)

In a revision to its IPO prospectus, Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba reported sales for the quarter ended in March of 2014 rose 39% - a number that actually demonstrates slowed revenue growth for the company. A year earlier, Alibaba increased sales by 71% during the same quarter and realized better margins. In its most recent quarter, Alibaba said its operating margins narrowed to 45%, down from 51%. Alibaba did make gains in mobile-related sales, though, reporting a 12% jump versus a 2% rise for the year prior. Besides releasing financials, reports surfaced this afternoon suggesting the firm has chosen to list on the New York Stock Exchange, although no debut date was made public.

From March 2013 through March 2014, Alibaba’s net income rose to $3.7 billion, with sales up 52%. The filing shows Taobao Marketplace, Tmall and Juhuasuan accounted for 82% of Alibaba’s yearly revenue. On November 11 of 2013 – a special promotional period for the company – Alibaba said sales at Taobao Marketplace and Tmall hit $5.6 billion in just 24 hours.

While Alibaba has ties to several industries, it’s most well-known for its websites that allow merchants to sell items – including promotional products – directly to people worldwide. Of particular note in North America, Alibaba recently launched a U.S. e-commerce website called 11 Main, which is selling specialty jewelry, apparel and tech products.

Alibaba, led by Counselor Power 50 member Jack Ma, filed IPO paperwork in May. Estimates value Alibaba at up to $200 billion, making it likely that the firm’s IPO will become one of the largest launches of all time. Alibaba’s 27 partners – nine of which are women according to the latest filing – will be able to nominate most of the company’s board, a key stipulation to the firm’s U.S. IPO.



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