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Alibaba stock heads higher after earnings as profit tops expectations

Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

inched about 1% higher in premarket action Thursday after the company topped adjusted earnings expectations for the latest quarter and said it was upsizing its buyback program. The Chinese e-commerce company reported a September-quarter net loss of RMB22.5 billion ($3.2 billion), or RMB7.77 per American depositary share, whereas Alibaba posted net income of RMB3.4 billion, or RMB1.97 per ADS, in the year-before quarter. Alibaba said that the change reflected a “decrease in market prices of our equity investments in publicly-traded companies” that was partially offset by a rise in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (Ebita). After excluding stock-based compensation and certain other items, Alibaba earned RMB12.92 per ADS, up from RMB11.20 per ADS in the year-earlier period, while analysts tracked by FactSet were anticipating RMB11.98 per ADS. Revenue increased to RMB207.2 billion from RMB200.7 billion, while the FactSet consensus was for RMB208.4 billion. “The uncertainties of the global landscape have only reinforced our resolve to focus on building capacity that will yield sustainable, high-quality growth for our customers and our own business over the long term,” Chief Executive Daniel Zhang said in a release. He called the latest results “solid” in the face of “ongoing macro environment challenges.” Chief Financial Officer Toby Xu noted in the release that Alibaba was upsizing its stock-buyback program by $15 billion and extending it to the end of fiscal 2025.

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