In its first earnings statement since debuting as a U.S. publicly-traded company, Alibaba Group reported strong revenue growth that has the Chinese company well positioned heading into Q4. The China-based firm reported 54% year-over-year sales growth during the third quarter for a total of $2.75 billion, attributing it to increased mobile usage and e-commerce shopping. Alibaba announced that it added 29 million mobile users during that timeframe, and that mobile now represents more than one-third (36%) of the company’s total gross merchandise volume, compared to 15% a year ago.
“We delivered a strong quarter with significant growth across our key operating metrics,” said Jonathan Lu, CEO of Alibaba Group. “Our business continues to perform well, and our results reflect both the strength of our ecosystem and the strong foundation we have for sustainable growth.”
Despite the sales gains, Alibaba’s net profit during the quarter fell 38.6% to $494 million, or 20 cents per share. Alibaba paid out large sums of stock awards to employees after its IPO, which played a major role in dragging down its net profit. That along with increased expenses in serving mobile customers and integrating acquisitions pushed the company’s profit margins down to 25.8%, compared to 47.9% a year earlier. If the stock-based compensation is excluded, Alibaba reported net income of $1.11 billion, or 45 cents per share.
Alibaba raised $25 billion in its mid-September IPO, selling stock at $68 per share. As of this morning, the stock was priced at $109.83. Alibaba now has a market cap of $250.9 billion, making the company more valuable than Wal-Mart and establishing itself as the largest e-commerce company in the world.
Alibaba did not provide earnings expectations for the next quarter, but the company is poised to fare well since November 11 is Singles Day, China’s version of Black Friday. Last year customers purchased nearly $6 billion in items across Alibaba’s various sites in the 24-hour period. Founded by Counselor Power 50 member Jack Ma in 1999, Alibaba sells across multiple platforms, including in the B2B space. Thousands of promotional products are widely available on the firm’s sites, including Alibaba.com