Shares of Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) - Get Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Sponsored ADR Report have been on fire this year, more than doubling so far in 2017. With BABA stock now sporting a market cap north of $450 billion and most recently closing at $177.39 on Thursday, it's hard to believe shares traded for less than $90 in January.
Given this performance, convincing investors of further substantial upside may be difficult. Yet, not one, but two analysts were out with new research reports on Friday suggesting that's the case. We're not talking about slight upside, either.
Citic Securities initiated coverage of Alibaba with a buy rating and $225 price target. From current levels, Citic's price target implies more than 27% upside. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Naoshi Nema also feels there's more upside. He initiated coverage of Alibaba with an overweight rating as well and assigned a price target of $213.
So far, BABA stock isn't reacting favorably, down 0.23% to $176.91 in early trading.
Nema's price target implies more than 20% upside, and although that's lower than what Citic is predicting, both research reports suggest impressive gains for a stock that's already done quite well. Interestingly enough, founder and CEO Jack Ma recently pared down his holdings, which must make some investors wonder if they should, too.
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Just earlier this week, an Alibaba-backed company went public, too. Best Inc. (BSTI) began publicly trading after pricing its IPO at the low end of its range, selling shares for $10 apiece. However, the stock has since rallied slightly, giving early investors small gains to hold on to.
BABA has a near-24% position in BSTI, so if Best begins to do better, expect BABA stock to continue higher as well.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.