Wall Street Bullish on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) Despite Falling Chinese Economy

By Carly Forster

The Shanghai Composite index has been in a downward spiral since entering bear-market territory in mid-June, having fallen approximately 30% since its seven-year high. Not only is this seriously impacting companies traded on China’s biggest stock exchange, but it is also taking a toll on big Chinese companies traded in the US stock market, like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA).

Shares of Alibaba reached a high of $90.79 in the beginning of June just before China’s main stock market began to plummet and has dropped over 16% since. While some may think Alibaba doesn’t have anything to worry about, investors are running away from the stock as Chinese shoppers, once the company’s biggest selling point, have quickly turned into its biggest weakness.

However, one Wall Street analyst still has confidence in Alibaba.

On July 8, Credit Suisse analyst Dick Wei maintained an Outperform rating on Alibaba with a price target of $114, seeing the company’s recent stock drop as an attractive buying opportunity.

Wei does not believe Alibaba’s shares fell for any other reason than what is going on in China and sees the fact that the stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as an added benefit. The analyst also believes the company has strong business fundamentals and believes now is the perfect time to Buy the stock.

Wei also sees a handful of drivers in the second half of the year that will help increase Alibaba shares, including “(1) ad load increase on its mobile apps, (2) Tmall GMV mix to increase and hence take rate improvements, and (3) progress in PC search ad optimization.”

When measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark, Dick Wei has an overall average return rate of +21.0% per stock recommendation.

In other Alibaba news, the company recently announced that it will sell its U.S. e-commerce website, 11 Main, to rival e-commerce website, OpenSky, in exchange for 37.6% equity ownership. In addition, Alibaba also revealed that it will feature 11 additional countries on Tmall Global, including the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, France, Britain, and Spain in an effort to expand its international e-commerce initiatives.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali weighed in on Alibaba on June 26, maintaining a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $110. In regards to the sale of 11 Main, Squali sees it as “either a sign of failure to get meaningful traction in U.S. ecommerce market, and/or a sign of Alibaba’s changing strategic priorities.” Either way, “there seems to be more emphasis on cross-border opportunities in mature and highly competitive markets such as the U.S. and Europe.”

In regards to the expansion in Tmall, Squali notes, “The country pavilions will allow consumers in China to shop for products by country.”

Youssef Squali currently has an average return rate of +20.7% per stock recommendation when measured over one-year and no benchmark.

Out of 19 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, all have bullish sentiments on Alibaba. The average 12-month price target for Alibaba is $106.71, marking a potential upside of 36.91% from where the stock is currently trading. On average, the all-analyst consensus for Alibaba is Strong Buy.

Image Credit

Leave a Comment