Alibaba Group (BABA) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $199.00 price target on the specialty retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Alibaba's stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to on a 12-month basis. The company's Ele.me acquisition will increase its presence in the food delivery market. Further, the recent investment in Lazada will expand its presence in Asia. The company's solid growth in the company’s core e-commerce business, strong growth in metrics, New Retail strategy, expanding cloud business and international strength help it to generate significant revenues. Other drivers include strong mobile strength and its continued efforts to develop new products. However, macro headwinds, continued investments and increasing competition from Tencent Holdings and Baidu remain the overhangs.”

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A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on BABA. Susquehanna Bancshares initiated coverage on Alibaba Group in a research report on Wednesday, December 6th. They set a positive rating and a $220.00 price target on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus restated a buy rating on shares of Alibaba Group in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. MKM Partners restated a buy rating on shares of Alibaba Group in a research report on Friday, December 15th. Nomura restated a buy rating and set a $219.00 price target (down previously from $221.00) on shares of Alibaba Group in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a buy rating and set a $240.00 price target on shares of Alibaba Group in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirty-one have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $213.61.

Shares of BABA stock opened at $167.52 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.97, a quick ratio of 1.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29. Alibaba Group has a 52-week low of $106.76 and a 52-week high of $206.20. The firm has a market capitalization of $441,978.38, a P/E ratio of 66.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 2.52.

Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The specialty retailer reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.42 by ($0.08). Alibaba Group had a return on equity of 17.61% and a net margin of 29.57%. The business had revenue of $12.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.36 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.30 EPS. analysts predict that Alibaba Group will post 4.08 EPS for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BABA. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp purchased a new position in shares of Alibaba Group in the fourth quarter worth about $101,000. Avestar Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Alibaba Group in the fourth quarter worth about $102,000. Lenox Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of Alibaba Group by 2,636.4% in the fourth quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 602 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 580 shares during the last quarter. Trustcore Financial Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Alibaba Group in the fourth quarter worth about $107,000. Finally, Lorber David A bought a new stake in shares of Alibaba Group in the third quarter worth about $109,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 37.73% of the company’s stock.

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Alibaba Group Company Profile

Alibaba Group Holding Limited, through its subsidiaries, operates as an online and mobile commerce company in the People's Republic of China and internationally. The company operates in four segments: Core Commerce, Cloud Computing, Digital Media and Entertainment, and Innovation Initiatives and Others.

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