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Top analyst from Stifel raises Alibaba forecast

Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma.
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Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma.

Stifel's Scott Devitt, one of the Wall Street's top analysts, reiterated his buy rating on Alibaba shares and increased his price target by 20 percent due to the strong growth potential in its new markets.

"Given the new segment disclosures surrounding the profitability of the cloud computing and digital media & entertainment businesses and the focus of current investments across the platform, we are more confident on the intermediate/longer-term margin expansion opportunities for the company," Devitt wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.

"The core business should benefit from improving mobile monetization and increased user engagement as the company expands into new verticals and geographies."

Devitt's picks have a 17 percent one-year average return with a 65 percent success rate, according to analyst ranking service TipRanks, placing him in the top 2 percent of all Wall Street analysts covering any industry.