As shares of Chinese tech behemoth Alibaba Group (BABA) soar 105% year-to-date (YTD) versus the S&P 500’s 12% rally over the same period, one team of analysts on the Street expects the e-commerce company to continue outperforming the market. (See also: Alibaba’s Ma, Tsai to Unload Shares: Will it Hurt?)
As the world’s most populous economy continues to see its middle class swell, its retail environment should “remain robust,” indicated Goldman Sachs in a recent research note, suggesting that Alibaba will be the main beneficiary of the market’s strength. The investment bank expects retail revenues in the country to grow due to improved consumer confidence and a higher click-through rate on online advertisements.
Room to Run in China
Alibaba has a lot more room to grow in its home market, where online shopping accounts for only 14% of total retail spending. Goldman remains bullish that sustained growth in China’s retail industry and online consumption will continue to support momentum in BABA’s China retail segment. Mubayi lifted his sum-of-the-parts (SOTP)-based target price 1% to $211, “mainly on higher revenues as higher near-term spending does not impact our longer-term view on segment margins.”
“We anticipate higher spending in lieu of competition in retail, rising content spending, and a step up in spending in Southeast Asia, with business-to-consumer, customer-to-customer, and payments falling in place for BABA in Indonesia,” wrote Goldman analyst Piyush Mubayi.
Yet not all remain as upbeat on BABA, the most-shorted stock in the world. So far, Goldman and its peers are in a better position, as skeptics have lost billions of dollars. In mid-August, the firm beat the consensus estimate with a 56% jump in first-quarter revenue, driven by growth in online sales. E-commerce remains BABA’s largest segment, generating 86% of total revenue. (See also: Alibaba's Single's Day Dwarfs Amazon's Prime Day.)