The investment bank initiated the Chinese e-commerce giant with an overweight rating and $190 price target in a new note Tuesday, representing more than 30% growth over Monday's closing price of $142.73. In JP Morgan's eyes, Alibaba is entering a transformation from a pure play e-commerce company to a data-driven beast that stands to power its bottom line more than most expect.
"We believe Alibaba's core commerce is expanding from traffic monetization to data monetization and such trend will quickly expand to its media/cloud businesses," writes JP Morgan analyst Alex Yao. "Such expansion not only allows Alibaba to tap into non-transaction-based corporate budget (e.g. market research, brand awareness, and customer service), but also supports our investment thesis based on sustainable revenue/earnings growth."
Adds Yao, "The unique value that Alibaba offers large brands is the ability to measure any business activities' impact on ultimate transactions -- this is different from any other large Internet names (e.g. Tencent (TCEHY) , Facebook (FB - Get Report) ).
The endless parade of bullish Alibaba notes since its investor day earlier in June suggest Wall Street is finally starting to get comfortable with founder Jack Ma's baby. Alibaba isn't easy for most to understand, as it operates everything from a traditional e-commerce business in China to a surging cloud operation.
Alibaba's second investor day event was a big improvement over last year as the company learns what investors and analysts want to know about the company, Alibaba President Michael Evans told TheStreet in an interview.
"I saw remarkable improvement in what we did in terms of presenting information, but I also saw remarkable improvement in the understanding that investors and research analysts are starting to develop," Evans said.
Alibaba's shares rose 0.9% to $144.26 on Monday morning.
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