Alibaba by the Numbers: Five Key Metrics From Latest Earnings

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. posted fourth-quarter results Thursday and announced Daniel Zhang would replace Jonathan Lu as chief executive officer with effect from May 10. After losing more than $70 billion in market value since November, investors will be looking at the following key factors:

REVENUE GROWTH: 45 percent

That’s how much Alibaba sales grew from a year earlier as it capitalized on the Lunar New Year shopping season in China. That compares with 39 percent growth a year earlier as Alibaba sees more transactions from smartphones and tablet computers.

OVERSEAS: 9 percent

Alibaba’s overseas sales portion. Chairman Jack Ma has set a goal of getting 50 percent from outside China and has made inroads into Brazil, India and Russia. The company’s presence in the rest of Europe and the U.S. is negligible so far.

GMV: 600 billion yuan

That’s the gross merchandise volume on Alibaba’s retail marketplaces, compared with 787 billion yuan ($126.8 billion) in the quarter ended in December. EBay Inc.’s GMV for the first quarter was $20.2 billion.

NET INCOME: 2.87 billion yuan

Alibaba’s net income was reduced by the amount it paid to cover share-based compensation to employees. The company paid 4.3 billion yuan in the December period and 3.01 billion yuan for the three months ended September to retain staff and keep them motivated.

MARGINS: 49 percent

That’s how much non-GAAP earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization Alibaba made on each yuan of sales and compares with the 58 percent margin it had in the three months ended December. If Ma is to reach his growth targets, he needs to spend on marketing to let rural China and the rest of the world know what Alibaba can do for them and give them products they want.

For more, read this QuickTake: China's E-Commerce Giant