Alibaba is now a big data play, says JPMorgan analyst predicting more than 30% surge

Key Points
  • JPMorgan's new price target for Alibaba is $190, representing 33 percent upside from Monday's close.
  • The firm issues an overweight rating on the internet giant, saying its new marketing data services will boost its financial results.
Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba group, delivers a speech during 2017 Global Smart Logistics Summit at Hangzhou Cloud Town on May 22, 2017 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China.
VCG | Getty Images

Alibaba shares, already among the market's best performers, will surge as new marketing data services boost the e-commerce giant's financial results, according to JPMorgan.

Analyst Alex Yao resumed coverage on Alibaba with an overweight rating and a 12-month price target of $190, representing 33 percent upside from Monday's close.

"We believe Alibaba's core commerce is expanding from traffic monetization to data monetization and this trend will quickly expand to its media/cloud businesses," Yao wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. "Such expansion not only allows Alibaba to tap into non-transaction-based corporate budget (e.g. market research, brand awareness, customer service), but also supports our investment thesis based on sustainable revenue/earnings growth."

Alibaba shares have rallied 62.5 percent this year through Monday, compared with the 8.9 percent return in that period.

JPMorgan and Raymond James have the highest price targets among research firms following the stock, according to FactSet. The next highest target is $177 from MKM Partners.

Yao said Alibaba has the ability to sell valuable data it collects on consumer buying decisions. He cited the company's profiles on more than 500 million customers that use various Alibaba services. The firm also recently launched its new "Uni Marketing" data solution, which measures the effectiveness of corporate ad campaigns.

"Financial returns from monetization of such data technology have yet to be factored into our estimates. We believe data monetization through ad products is a high-margin business by nature," he wrote.