Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report is following up its 60% year-over-year jump in revenue to $5.2 billion for the latest quarter with a two-day investor meeting June 8 and June 9 at its headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
Speakers at the event will include executive chairman Jack Ma, executive vice chairman Joe Tsai, CEO Daniel Zhang and CFO Maggie Wu. Alibaba will have a live webcast of the event beginning at 2:15 a.m. ET on Thursday and at 3:45 a.m. ET on Friday. The company will also update the webcast link with a replay of the webcast and a summary of the day's presentations.
Alibaba's stock has been on a run recently, closing up about 43% year-to-date to $125.64 on Tuesday.
The company reported lower-than-expected earnings for the 2016 fourth quarter in May at 63 cents, vs. 66 cents consensus estimate. The company attributed the miss to higher-than-expected taxes and the revenue beat helped ease the pain of the earnings miss.
Tigress Financial Partners CIO Ivan Feinseth said he expects the guidance issued at the event to be positive and, most likely, simply a reiteration of past guidance numbers. While the stock will probably not react to the expected in-line guidance, companies sometimes use the platform of their investor day to announce a new product or tool, which could send the stock up, he noted. "But they're probably not going to release a negative bombshell like negative guidance at their own investor day," Feinseth said.
Alibaba Head of External Affairs Brion Tingler said the executives' speeches will be focusing on technology updates, such as improving algorithms, as a way to drive commerce. The company's access to big data provides a moat for the business, or a competitive advantage against its peers, he said.
The company will most likely be talking about incorporating artificial intelligence, or machine learning, into its systems, Feinseth. If the company can analyze data to find patterns, then it has a better chance of figuring out what the "next big thing" is or to understand how it should be stocking its website.
In April, Ma warned businesses at an entrepreneurship conference in China about the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs, especially as people are expected to live longer. "Machines should only do what humans cannot," he said. "Only in this way can we have the opportunities to keep machines as working partners with humans, rather than as replacements."
Ma has also spoken on incorporating big data into the physical retail experience to help drive up sales, a strategy that he has dubbed "New Retail." In a letter to shareholders in October, Ma said that "we anticipate the birth of a re-imagined retail industry driven by the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain." Alibaba held true to its word by purchasing an 18% stake in the Lianhua Supermarket chain held by Shanghai-based Bailian Group in late May. Alibaba spent $81 billion on the acquisition and plans to use big data to lift the supermarket's sales, which have been on a downward trend since 2011.
Feinseth said he expects investors will be asking questions about Alibaba's past investments, like in Lianhua Supermarket, and its expansion plans, such as with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that it signed with Argentina in May. The agreement is meant to help Argentina sell its wine and fresh foods in China. The company is continuing to expand into other countries and investors are curious about the timeline of its growth plan.
Alibaba is also expected to touch on its digital media efforts, a way for the company to diversify its revenue stream, Feinseth said. The company is still heavily reliant on its core e-commerce business, which brought in $4.6 billion of its $5.2 billion revenue in the past quarter. On June 6, Alibaba Pictures reportedly bought a majority stake in Indian ticketing startup TicketNew, thehindu.com reported. "Alibaba is clearly trying to expand its media presence," Feinseth said.
Next up for Alibaba is a conference that Ma will host in Detroit on June 20 and June 21 to teach an expected 1,000 small businesses about Alibaba's services as it looks toward expanding to the U.S., which is already dominated by Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report . This meeting is coming a few months after Ma met with President Donald Trump and promised to create one million jobs in the U.S.
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