First off, the company told TheStreet's Annie Gaus that sales would come in with strength. Well, revenue for the day grew over 2018's number, hitting a record of more than $31 billion just for the fist 11 hours of the event.
But that just means 2018 was a record high and the sales kept growing at a positive rate.
Analysts and investors have recently flagged revenue deceleration as one area of slight concern, which is something Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report is seeing in its own e-commerce business. E-commerce sales growth, at large, is decelerating in many countries. In 2018, Alibaba's singles day saw gross merchandise volume of $30.8 billion, representing 21.7% growth over 2017's result of $25.3 billion. So Alibaba would have had to see GMV on the day of more than $37.5 billion in order to surpass that growth rate, as that number would be a 22% growth rate.
The company did just that. Alibaba said GMV for singles day of 2019 was $38.4 billion, representing 24% year-over-year growth.
For context, singles day started in 1993 when single Chinese university students began buying gifts for each other as a ways of celebrating being single. Alibaba adopted the day as its own in 2009 and posted GMV of less than $10 million.
In 2011, the company did $820 million in GMV and grew that number 270% to $3.04 billion in 2012. Dollar results can hit record highs, theoretically, forever. But growth rates can't. In 2017, Alibaba posted impressive GMV growth for the day of 42%, an impressive rate compared to any garden variety public company in the world. and while that was an acceleration over 2016's 24% growth, the 2017 rate was a massive deceleration from 2015's 53%.
Even on a strong day of sales, the stock was down 2.57% to $182.28 a share. The stock is up 33% year-to-date.
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