HONG KONG, China — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s quarterly earnings lagged estimates as it faced a higher tax bill and splurged on entertainment and cloud computing.
China’s biggest e-commerce company posted adjusted earnings-per-share of ¥4.35, lagging the ¥4.51 average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That came even as revenue rose at a faster-than-expected 60 percent pace. Shares of Alibaba fell 3.9 percent in pre-market trade.
China is showing signs of economic deterioration, particularly in the rustbelt northeast, hurting the consumer demand it relies on. Alibaba is trying to buck the slowdown in China’s wider economy by appealing to a growing middle class demanding premium products from Alaskan salmon to New Zealand milk. That’s helping fuel billionaire founder Jack Ma’s international expansion plan, which include helping a million American businesses tap Chinese consumers, buying control of Southeast Asian startup Lazada Group SA, and reaching foreign shoppers through AliExpress.
The company said Thursday it’s green-lit a $6 billion share buyback program over two years.
By Lulu Yilun Chen; editors: Robert Fenner and Edwin Chan.