(Adds details on Alibaba)
By Edwin Chan
SAN FRANCISCO, April 15 Alibaba Group Holding
Ltd IPO-ALIB.N accelerated revenue growth in the crucial
fourth quarter, the company reported on Tuesday, a timely lift
for the Chinese Internet company as it prepares for a highly
anticipated public offering.
Alibaba's resurgence helped lift shares in Yahoo Inc
, which owns about 24 percent of the Chinese company and
is highly sensitive to Alibaba's growth prospects and valuation.
The U.S. company's stock was up 8 percent at $36.90 after
hours despite reporting anemic quarterly revenue and display
advertising growth in its own business.
China's largest Internet company, which is racing to prepare
for the largest U.S. IPO since Facebook Inc's 2012
coming-out party, recorded 66 percent growth in sales to $3.06
billion in 2013's final three months. Its listing is the most
highly anticipated of what's expected to be a record year for
U.S. tech debuts, spurred on by Twitter Inc's
successful 2013 IPO.
However, Alibaba had experienced several quarters of slowing
growth as its torrid pace of expansion cooled. It posted its
slowest rate of growth in three quarters during the
On Tuesday, the company that powers four-fifths of all
Chinese online consumer shopping recorded a doubling in net
income to $1.36 billion.
Its results were released alongside Yahoo's first-quarter
numbers. Executives with the U.S. company told analysts on a
conference call they would not comment further on Alibaba's
numbers, given that the Chinese company has entered a pre-IPO
RAGS TO RICHES
Alibaba, founded 15 years ago by outspoken English
schoolteacher Jack Ma, has cornered the Chinese consumer market
and expanded into everything from online auctions to messaging
An IPO could arm the company as it tries also to dominate
the nascent mobile shopping and social media arenas. Market
participants expect it to raise as much as $16 billion this
Tencent Holdings Ltd has the upper hand in mobile
services, including in areas like messaging and games, the most
important battleground for the country's Internet companies.
In addition, Alibaba's strategy of building a global
e-commerce empire with its own financial services is attracting
close scrutiny from China's regulators and resistance from the
(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by James Dalgleish and