Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s stock surged 4.6% in premarket trade Thursday, after the China-based e-commerce giant reported fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that rose above expectations. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, earnings more than doubled to $1.92 billion, with earnings per share increasing 114% to 76 cents. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS came to 99 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 89 cents. Revenue rose 32% to $5.33 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $5.11 billion, with mobile revenue from China commerce retail nearly tripling to $2.89 billion. Gross merchandise value transacted on China retail marketplaces increased 23% to the U.S. equivalent of $149 billion. Annual active buyers in China retail marketplaces rose to 407 million from 386 million. "We remain focused on our top strategic priorities, including global imports, rural expansion, increasing our footprint in first-tier Chinese cities and building a world-class cloud computing business," said Chief Executive Daniel Zhang. The stock has tumbled 16% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has lost 9.9%.
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