Alibaba has released its much awaited Form F-1 filing as it begun its formal quest to become a publicly traded company in the U.S. stock market. In the form, the Chinese e-commerce giant is only seeking to raise $1 billion, a figure which completely differs with the much rumoured over $15 billion IPO. And due to the filing review process, it is most certainly that the IPO will only be possible in the final quarter of 2014.
Alibaba Shows Off Big Figures
In the filing, no trading symbol was proposed but it is widely expected to use ABABA or ALIB. The company has also revealed its 2013 financial figures. The figures show that Alibaba made cumulated revenue of $5.55 billion, which is a 73% year to year revenue growth, with a Gross Margin of 71.9%. Its fourth quarter Gross Merchandise Volume rose with 53% on the on a year to year basis, and generally had an annual gross merchandise volume of $240 billion after taking 11.3 billion orders.
The company also acknowledged its clients appreciation of its mobile platform. The gross merchandise volume transacted on mobile platform rose from 7.4% a year earlier to 19.7% in Q4 2013.
According to the form, the company had a total of 231 million active buyers’ and 8 million active sellers’ accounts in the 2012 months ending December 31, 2013.
Alibaba’s three China retail marketplaces – Taobao, Tmall and Juhuasuan – accounted for 82.7% of its revenues over a period of nine months ending December 31, 2013. Over 60% of its total revenue ($4.69 billion) came from its market in China, while the international market accounted for $669 million (8.8%). Its cloud services contributed slightly over $105 million and the company also accrued $87 million in its other activities.
Internet pioneer Yahoo! owns 22.6% of Alibaba, second to SoftBank (SFTBF) which owns 34.4%. Alibaba founder Jack Ma owns 8.9 percent, meaning that if the company can withstand its valuation of $200 billion as previously estimated, he would be overwhelmingly rich. With a fortune of $18 billion, he would be perhaps the richest man in China. However, the previous valuation was overly inflated, and the reasonable value of Alibaba may be $120 – $150 billion, though we can only wait for the IPO price to tell this.
What Investors Missed in the Released Details?
Investors who are interested in Alibaba when it finally makes debut in the stock market might have been a little bit disappointed with the revealed details. Most people would have been interested to know more details about its two leading e-commerce business Taobao and Tmall, and how they would possibly overwhelm Amazon and eBay. Also the company didn’t explore how it was planning to grow its struggling off-shore sales, which only contributed 8.8% of its 2013 revenues.
Alibaba Form F-1 filings provide a clear insight of what investor should expect of this company. It is no doubt that ABABA will be an extraordinary and richly-valued stock. The IPO proceeds are expected to help the company expand its international presence to rival its peers in the industry. And since its international market is still under utilized and the China’s e-commerce market still growing, Alibaba’s rivals have every reason to worry.