Alibaba Group (BABA) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday.

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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Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on the company. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Alibaba Group in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. MKM Partners reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Alibaba Group in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Nomura reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $219.00 price target (down previously from $221.00) on shares of Alibaba Group in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $240.00 price target on shares of Alibaba Group in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Vetr lowered Alibaba Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $213.25 price target on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, January 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, thirty have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $213.61.

Shares of BABA traded up $4.68 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $172.20. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 9,513,022 shares, compared to its average volume of 20,481,664. The stock has a market cap of $429,044.53, a price-to-earnings ratio of 68.61, a PEG ratio of 0.98 and a beta of 2.51. The company has a quick ratio of 1.97, a current ratio of 1.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29. Alibaba Group has a 1-year low of $108.84 and a 1-year high of $206.20.

Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The specialty retailer reported $1.34 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 company had revenue of $12.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.36 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.30 EPS. analysts expect that Alibaba Group will post 4.06 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in BABA. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC lifted its holdings in Alibaba Group by 72.7% during the 3rd quarter. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC now owns 7,307 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,262,000 after buying an additional 3,075 shares during the period. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Alibaba Group during the 3rd quarter worth about $285,000. Vident Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new position in Alibaba Group during the 3rd quarter worth about $1,213,000. Zions Bancorporation acquired a new position in Alibaba Group during the 3rd quarter worth about $670,000. Finally, Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in Alibaba Group by 29.9% during the 3rd quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 2,180 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $376,000 after buying an additional 502 shares during the period. 37.73% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Alibaba Group

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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