Alibaba Holding Co. (BABA) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings Thursday as cloud and e-commerce revenue rose much faster than its traditional online retailing business. 

Alibaba said non-GAAP adjusted diluted earnings for the three months ended in June, its fiscal first quarter, came in at 12.55 Chinese yuan, or $1.83 per share, up nearly 56% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.47 each. Group revenues, Alibaba said, rose 42% from last year to 114.9 billion yuan, or $16.74 billion, again smashing analysts' estimates of a $12.3 billion tally.

Cloud revenue rose 66% to 7.8 billion yuan, Alibaba said, compared to a 44% growth rate for it core commerce business, which hit 99.54 billion yuan.

"Alibaba had a great quarter, expanding our user base to 674 million annual active consumers, demonstrating our superior user experience," said CEO Daniel Zhang. "We will continue to expand our customer base, increase operating efficiency and deliver robust growth. With strong cash flow from our core commerce business, we will continue to invest in technology and bring digital transformation to millions of businesses globally."

Alibaba's American depositary receipts rose 2.29% to $165.78.

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