Updated from 7:40 a.m. EDT

Alibaba (BABA)  slipped in premarket trading Thursday after a monster share buyback failed to ease the pain of a fourth-quarter earnings miss. 

The Chinese e-commerce giant reported revenue equivalent to $5.6 billion, more than 7% ahead of the Factset consensus, which was for a top-line of $5.2 billion.

Alibaba declared adjusted earnings per share equivalent to 63 cents, a 5% miss against the consensus for a print of 66 cents. 

Alibaba stock fell 3% in premarket trading, but pared earlier losses.  

"Our robust results demonstrate the strength of our core businesses, as well as the positive momentum of our emerging businesses, including cloud computing, where we continue to see strong growth and market leadership," said CFO Maggie Wu. 

The weaker-than-expected bottom line was partly the result of what management described as "aggressive investment" in cloud computing and other digital products. 

Alibaba also declared a new share buyback program, which will hoover up $6 billion of stock, in order to offset the effect of dilution from share-based payment programs. 

Investors had expected a solid set of numbers from the Chinese internet giant after competitor JD.com (JD) reported its first profitable quarter earlier in May, driven by strong growth in Chinese retail sales. Retails sales grew by 33% and 24% in China during March and April, respectively.  

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