311.50 -1.06 (-0.34%)
After hours: 4:28PM EDT
|Bid||312.91 x 800|
|Ask||312.00 x 800|
|Day's range||308.91 - 315.58|
|52-week range||169.95 - 319.32|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.50|
|PE ratio (TTM)||33.57|
|Earnings date||05 Nov 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||332.89|
(Bloomberg) -- Lucy Peng has been dubbed Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s most influential woman.The co-founder of the e-commerce giant rarely speaks in public and is little known outside of China, but over the past two decades she’s played a key role guiding Jack Ma’s empire. Peng, 47, helped set up Alibaba’s human-resources department, was Ant Group Co.’s chief executive officer and is now executive chairwoman of Lazada Group SA, the Southeast Asian e-commerce platform.The former finance teacher is also emerging as one of the wealthiest people within the wildly successful Alibaba ecosystem and one of the richest women on the planet. Peng holds a 1.7% stake in Ant, the fintech firm that’s set to raise $34.5 billion in a dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong that could take its valuation to $320 billion. She’ll be worth about $5 billion, based on the pricing of the initial public offering, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Ant declined to comment on Peng’s wealth.“Jack famously considers women a key asset in his success; Lucy is the embodiment of that,” said Duncan Clark, author of “Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built” and chairman of investment consulting firm BDA China. “That’s why she’s been deployed on new ventures at critical moments of the company’s development. She’s been very focused on the key behind-the-scenes work, especially on human resources, and as such has earned and retained the trust of Jack.”Women represent almost 40% of Alibaba Partnership members, the elite group that has the power to determine the management’s annual cash bonuses. Along with Peng, six other female leaders are heading for billionaire status thanks to Ant’s record IPO, with a combined stake value of $14.5 billion. They include Trudy Dai, one of the 18 Alibaba co-founders and president of its business-to-business unit; Judy Tong, the e-commerce giant’s chief people officer; and Ant’s vice president, Yijie Peng.China has been the main engine for self-made female billionaires in recent years: Among the world’s 500 richest people, two-thirds of the 15 women who created their own fortunes are Chinese entrepreneurs, according to Bloomberg’s wealth index.Peng met Ma through her husband, Sun Tongyu, when they worked together at China Pages, a Yellow Pages-like online directory Ma set up before Alibaba. She was born in Chongqing in southwestern China, graduated from Zhejiang Gongshang University’s Hangzhou Institute of Commerce with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1994 and taught at a finance college for five years before joining Ma’s e-commerce venture, according to Alibaba’s prospectus in 2014.Peng served as chief people officer for most of her time at the e-commerce giant before taking the role of Alipay’s CEO in 2010 to enhance the app’s payment process and user experience. In about a year after she took over, the payment success rate had increased to 95% from 60%, the company said on its website. The platform, owned by Ant, started in 2004 as an escrow service for buyers and sellers on Ma’s shopping site Taobao.com as it competed with EBay Inc. for market share in China.“Alibaba treasures talent, teams and culture from day one,” Peng said at a panel discussion at Stanford University in 2012, adding that about 30% of Alibaba leaders’ performance metrics are based on team management. “We set very detailed requirements for culture and values supported by systematic structure, and it is not just hollow words.”Ant’s ExpansionAfter Alibaba spun off Ant in 2011, the unit quickly acquired licenses and expanded into wealth management, consumer lending and insurance. With more than 1 billion users globally, the firm’s valuation has already surged eightfold over the past five years.Now Ant is about to sell shares in the world’s largest IPO, unlocking one of the greatest wealth-creation machines in history. Peng, who owns the biggest individual Ant stake after Ma, and Ma himself aren’t the only ones winning big. At least 17 other people are becoming billionaires from the listing, which has enticed retail and institutional investors alike. The was said to stop taking investor orders for the Hong Kong leg of the IPO a day earlier than planned because it was already heavily subscribed.Peng handed over Ant’s chairmanship to Eric Jing in 2018 to focus on Lazada, an e-commerce venture that Alibaba bought a stake for $1 billion in 2016 before increasing its investment over the years. Peng served as its CEO for nine months and remains its chairwoman.At Ant, Peng is again behind the scenes. She left the company’s board in August, and her name appears only seven times in the 674-page prospectus. Still, the behemoth listing and Ant’s rise mark the achievement of her goal from four years ago, when she said an IPO would give the firm an opportunity to tell its story and raise money for acquisitions.“Perhaps we should be better at letting everyone know what Ant actually does,” the then-executive chair of Ant said in a 2016 interview. “Payments is just the tip of the iceberg. What’s big is under the water.”(Updates with more details in eighth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Alibaba, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard and Amazon
(Bloomberg) -- Few initial public offerings have aroused more anticipation than the blockbuster listing of Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co.Demand for the record $34.5 billion IPO has been so strong this week that Ant decided to stop taking orders from big investors a day earlier than planned. In Shanghai, initial bids exceeded supply by more than 280 times. Some mom-and-pop investors in Hong Kong are taking on 20 times leverage to supercharge their bets.Still, a smash-hit IPO doesn’t always translate into a long-term winner for investors. In Ant’s case, what could go wrong?Here are some of the biggest risks:RegulationAnt’s meteoric rise was made possible in part by China’s willingness to let it experiment. Now that the fintech giant is a dominant player in everything from payments to consumer lending, regulators are scrutinizing its every move.They’ve placed caps on the interest rates Ant and other financial institutions can charge for consumer loans, imposed new capital and licensing requirements, and restricted the size of some asset management products, among other measures. Financial regulation in China can be notoriously difficult to navigate, as Ant alluded to in its prospectus: “These laws, rules and regulations are highly complex, continuously evolving and could change or be reinterpreted to be burdensome or difficult to comply with.”The risks aren’t limited to China. Ant’s attempt to buy MoneyGram International Inc. was scuppered in 2018 by a U.S. government panel, while India recently blocked the company’s payments service amid rising border tensions. The Trump administration is mulling restrictions on Ant and Tencent Holdings Ltd. over concerns their payment platforms threaten U.S. national security, people familiar with the matter said this month, though any curbs would likely be challenged in court. The increasingly unfriendly stance toward Chinese tech firms is one of the biggest overhangs for Ant’s IPO, said Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX.“If investors fear further restrictions from the U.S. administration on Chinese tech companies, that might keep them away,” said Olivier d’Assier, head of applied research for Asia Pacific at risk advisory firm Qontigo, referring to the industry as a whole.CompetitionAnt’s Alipay service revolutionized the way Chinese people pay for things, both online and in physical shops. But it didn’t take long for rivals like Tencent to offer competing offerings. Ant’s market share of the Chinese mobile payments business, once around 75%, has dropped to about 55% as of June. A similar battle is now heating up in Ant’s other big money-maker: credit. Tencent has a growing consumer loan business and other tech giants like JD.com Inc. and Xiaomi Corp. are piling in.Then there’s the question of what Chinese banks will do. They currently pay billions in fees to Ant for originating loans to consumers and small businesses, but there’s no guarantee they’ll outsource that function forever. Ant itself has warned that partners may develop their own platforms to reach borrowers directly.China’s government is also an ever-present threat. The country’s central bank is developing a digital currency, and it’s not yet clear how Ant’s Alipay service will fit into the new system. Any erosion of the company’s role in China’s payments infrastructure could have ripple effects on other Ant businesses including credit, which utilizes Alipay’s huge data trove to assess the financial strength of borrowers who often lack collateral or formal credit histories. “A key fundamental risk would be slower-than-expected growth in digital payments,” said Victor Galliano, an analyst on Smartkarma.TechnologyAnt and its lending partner MYbank have long boasted of a risk-management system that analyzes more than 3,000 variables, allowing customers to apply for loans with a few taps on a smartphone and receive the cash almost instantly if they’re approved. While the companies have been less forthcoming about default rates, they were clocking at just over 1% before the pandemic.That number is impressive, but is it sustainable? Even Ant has cautioned that its lending algorithms have yet to be fully tested in a credit cycle. What’s more, the data underpinning its models could become harder to amass as attitudes toward privacy slowly shift in China.GovernanceMinority shareholders are unlikely to have much say when it comes to the way Ant is run. Ma currently controls the company through several entities that own Ant shares, and he’s likely to maintain significant influence after the IPO. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., meanwhile, owns about a third of Ant and will buy more shares to avoid having its stake diluted.Of course, anyone who backed Ma and his leadership team has thus far enjoyed stunning long-term returns. Alibaba, which the former teacher also co-founded, has surged more than four-fold since its New York IPO six years ago.But investors have reason to be wary. In 2010, Ma hived off Ant’s predecessor from Alibaba over the objections of shareholders including Yahoo! Inc. While he cited potential regulations that would have curbed foreign ownership of financial businesses, there may have been workarounds.ValuationInvestors will have to judge for themselves whether all these risks are reflected in Ant’s stock price. The company will command a valuation of at least $315 billion before it starts trading on Nov. 5, making it bigger than JPMorgan Chase & Co.Ant’s IPO pricing translates into a multiple of about 36 times estimated 2021 earnings, approaching the high end of its peers, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Francis Chan.(Adds story links in competition section.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.