Blackstone Executive Vice Chairman Tony James says he's less optimistic now than before that the U.S.-China trade war could be resolved, but even a smaller deal could help...World Economyread more
The massive market transformation this month that some on Wall Street called a "once in a decade opportunity" might have just been a one-off technical move because of taxes.Marketsread more
The Pentagon will deploy U.S. forces to the Middle East on the heels of the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced...Defenseread more
CNBC did a deep dive through the most recent Wall Street research to find stocks that analysts say are underappreciated.Marketsread more
Shares of MasterCard are up 46% this year, and 1120% since 2011, getting a boost from the strong U.S. consumer.Investingread more
CNBC sat in on an "empathy training" at Amazon PillPack's Somerville offices, which is part of new hire orientation.Technologyread more
Trade with China is the 'big unknown' for the Federal Reserve as it decides how best to support the U.S. economy, says Council on Foreign Relations Director of International...Futures Nowread more
Lobbying experts said the visit is likely an attempt to be in lawmakers' ears as they consider legislation that would impact Facebook.Technologyread more
Yardeni Research's Edward Yardeni believes the U.S. economy is picking up steam.Trading Nationread more
Iran's audacious drone and cruise missile attack on Saudi Arabia's oil producing facilities has provided a critical test yet for the Trump administration's foreign policy. A...Politicsread more
Alibaba shares soared after the company reported market-beating earnings in the three months ended December, with investors content with a record amount of spending by the company in the 2018 calendar year, hoping that it will spur future growth.
The Chinese e-commerce giant posted its slowest revenue growth since 2016 in its fiscal third quarter, but net income beat estimates. The stock closed more than 6 percent higher in New York on Wednesday and edged up further in after-hours trading.
It has had to contend with a slowing Chinese economy and the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. One area the market was focused on is spending by the company, with some analysts thinking that Alibaba could reign in expenditures because of the tougher operating environment.
But the company ended up spending a record amount in 2018 — something that the market was happy with. Over 278.8 billion yuan, or $41.6 billion, was spent on product development, sales and marketing, general administration and cost of revenue last year, a 86.2 percent increase in renminbi terms from 2017, when the company splashed out 149.7 billion yuan.
"Ali appears more disciplined in its spending on operating-related expenses, though top management suggested they are not withdrawing from investing in those strategic businesses," Nomura said in a research note released Thursday.
Those "strategic businesses" include what Alibaba calls "new retail" — a term it uses to describe the way it can integrate all its services from payments to logistics to bricks and mortar stores in order to create a shopping "ecosystem."
"It's all about how to integrate online and offline to transform to a whole digitalized commercial world," Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang told CNBC in an interview last year.
Alibaba finance chief Maggie Wu said the profitability from the company's core commerce business allowed it to generate the money to continue to invest.
"This profitability and $7.5 billion in free cash flow generated this quarter enable us to continue to invest in other important strategic businesses and technology to support the growth of our ecosystem," Wu said in the earnings release on Wednesday.
While its core e-commerce business is currently the biggest source of revenue and profits, the company sees a more diversified business being stronger in the future. Other businesses such as cloud computing, which is growing rapidly, and digital entertainment have seen their share of revenue increase.
Zhang told CNBC last year that cloud computing could be its "main business" in the future.
Analysts are bullish on Alibaba's stock, which is down more than 16 percent in the last 12 months.
However, the New York-traded shares are 21.7 percent higher year-to-date and closed at $166.82 on Wednesday. The earnings prompted a number of analysts to increase their price target on the stock. John Choi of Daiwa Capital Markets raised his outlook on the stock price from $190 to $200, while Scott Kessler of CFRA Research upped his price target by $20 to $198.
Alibaba "has demonstrated it can achieve healthy growth even with country-specific challenges. We see the company as a leader in China's digital economy across many areas, and note opportunities in Southeast Asia as well," Kessler said in a note on Wednesday.