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Alibaba Group Holding Co. (BABA) posted stronger-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings Wednesday after a record Singles Day shopping event helped boost profits for Asia's biggest tech company.

Alibaba said diluted non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in December, the company's fiscal third quarter, came in at $1.77 per share, up 8.6% from the same period last year and topping the consensus forecast of $1.64 per share. Group sales, Alibaba said, rose 41% to $17.057 billion but just missed analysts estimates of $17.47 billion. 

"Alibaba had another strong quarter. Our resilient operating and financial performance is a direct reflection of our persistent focus on better serving our growing base of nearly 700 million consumers across retail, digital entertainment and local consumer services," said CEO Daniel Zhang. "Our growth is also driven by the power of Alibaba's cloud and data technology that helps expedite the digital transformation of millions of enterprises."

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Alibaba's U.S. listed shares were rose 6.3% to close at $166.14 on Wednesday.

Alibaba's Singles Day shopping extravaganza, which takes place yearly on Nov. 11 as an ode to "number one," netted more than $30 billion in sales within 24 hours, a 27% increase from 2017 but teh slowest pace of growth in a decade.

Alibaba's Singles Day has surpassed both Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the biggest single-day shopping event globally, anchored by the massive Chinese consumer market of about 1.4 billion people, and evolving in recent years to an international event.

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