I’m adding the ADRs of Alibaba (BABA) to my Jubak’s Picks portfolio today ahead of the company’s report of fiscal second quarter 2016 earnings tomorrow before the New York market opens.
The units are up 30% from September 29, but September 29 marks the low for the U.S. traded ADRs, a good 16% below Alibaba’s IPO price. With this week’s plenum of leaders of the Chinese Communist Part set to add to the stimulus momentum of the surprise interest rate cut by the People’s Bank last week, I think Alibaba, despite that 30% jump, is the best way to play speculation on better growth for the Chinese domestic economy. (For a bonus add in excitement about next months Single’s Day, China’s biggest shopping event.)
Remember, when you’re trying to figure out if you want to buy this stock after a 30% move that this is China, the home of momentum and the enthusiasm of crowds. Tomorrow Alibaba will disclosure more about new cloud-based services for the business to consumer e-commerce market and expansion of the company’s offerings in video and streaming entertainment. (Alibaba recently bought (for $4.6 billion) the rest of Youku Tudou, a YouTube-like site to enable it to stream content.) Plus founder Jack Ma will undoubtedly speak excitedly about Alibaba’s international expansion with a bigger London office serving as a European hub and expansion into France and Germany.
Alibaba isn’t just for China or the developing world anymore.
Besides at $76.58 today the ADRs trade way below the 52-week high of $120 and even after the recent rally are down 26% for 2015. I’d look for an initial move up to the local high of $95 back in June. (The holiday shopping seasons are coming!)
You’ll notice that I really haven’t mentioned any fundamentals in this post. (For the record, Wall Street is expecting 27% revenue growth in the September quarter. Given Alibaba’s spending on expansion and acquisitions and the company’s byzantine structure and accounting, I wouldn’t put any emphasis on earnings per share.)
To me the Alibaba story has always been about momentum. The stock had it, lost it, and now looks like it has it back—at least for a while. A buy right now is a bet on the Chinese market believing in stimulus for the domestic economy, in enthusiasm for the move to expand into streaming video, and in Alibaba’s expansion into developed markets.
I wouldn’t put this one in my buy and forget box—the Chinese market just doesn’t work like that.
But for an investor looking to buy into enthusiasm about the domestic Chinese economy, Alibaba looks like the pony to ride for a while. As I said above, I’d give this one a target price of $95.