Alibaba's quarter revenue up 38%, beats estimates on record Singles' Day sales

China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd beat analysts' estimates for quarterly results on Thursday, driven by record sales during its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz and demand for its cloud computing business.

Sales in the company's core commerce business jumped 38 percent to 141.48 billion yuan (20.26 billion U.S. dollars) in the third quarter ended December 31, while revenue at its cloud computing unit surged 62 percent to 10.72 billion yuan.

Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders rose to 52.31 billion yuan from 33.05 billion yuan.

Excluding items, the company earned 18.19 yuan per American Depository Share. Analysts had expected 15.75 yuan per ADS, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Revenue rose about 38 percent to 161.46 billion yuan, beating estimates of 159.28 billion yuan.

The e-commerce giant usually reports its highest revenue in the December quarter due to its mega "Singles' Day" shopping bonanza November 11. The company said sales during the 24-hour shopping event hit a record 38.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

Alibaba primarily generates revenue by selling advertising and promotional services to third-party merchants that list products on its e-commerce sites, Taobao and Tmall.

Read more: Alibaba's Singles' Day sales top $38 billion

Help Chinese SMEs get through outbreak

To help small and medium-sized enterprises in China affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the group on Monday revealed 20 measures in an open letter published covering: reduced or waived platform fees, low-interest and interest-free loans, subsidized delivery personnel and increased logistics efficiency, creation of flexible job openings, tools for accelerating digitization and remote work management. 

Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial's MYBank unit has said it would offer 20 billion yuan (2.86 billion U.S. dollars) in loans to companies in China in the wake of the outbreak.

(With input from Reuters)