Notable Earnings: Alibaba Group (BABA), Canadian Solar (CSIQ), Ariad (ARIA), The Priceline Group (PCLN)

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA) shares are up $8.10, or 10.12%, to $88.10 in pre-market trading Thursday after the company reported its fourth quarter earnings results.

The Chinese e-commerce giant posted earnings of $0.48 per share on revenues of $2.81 billion, up 44.7% from a year ago. Analysts were expecting EPS of $0.41 on revenues of $2.70 billion. GAAP net income in the quarter ended March 31, 2015 was $463 million, a decrease of about 50% compared to $920 million in the same quarter of 2014. The company said excluding share-based compensation expenses, net income would have increased by 14 percent.

Meanwhile, gross merchandise volume on China retail marketplaces jumped 40% to $97 billion. Alibaba said China retail marketplaces had 350 million annual active buyers in the twelve months ended March 31, 2015, compared to 334 million in the twelve months ended December 31, 2014, representing a net addition of 16 million in annual active buyers.

“Alibaba had a strong quarter with significant growth across our key operating metrics,” said in a statement Jonathan Lu, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “We grew revenue, gross merchandise volume and annual active buyers, and we expanded our unrivaled leadership position in mobile.”

The company also announced Daniel Zhang as its new CEO, replacing Jonathan Lu. Zhang will become CEO of Alibaba Group, effective May 10, 2015.

Cash – As of March 31, 2015, Alibaba’s cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $19.7 billion, compared to $21.3 billion as of December 31, 2014.

Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) reported first quarter EPS of $1.04 before the opening bell Thursday, compared to the consensus estimate of $0.67. Revenues increased 85% from last year to $860.9 million. Analysts expected revenues of $732 million. Q1 gross margin was 17.8%, down from 19.3% a year earlier. The company’s net income for the period came in at $61.3 million, or $1.04 per diluted share, compared to $75.7 million, or $1.28 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Michael G. Potter, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Canadian Solar, commented: “We are pleased with our record results for a first quarter, as well as with the underlying positive trends of our business. Gross margin for the first quarter came in at the high-end of our guidance, as we partially offset the impact of a lower module ASP with ongoing manufacturing cost reductions. We ended the quarter with $1.04 billion of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, up from $1.02 billion at the end of the prior quarter.”

For Q2/15, CSIQ provided revenue guidance of $570 – $620 million, with gross margin expected to be between 13% – 15.0%, compared to the consensus revenue estimate of $699 million.

The stock is currently down $0.54 to $34.10 on 30K shares.

Shares of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARIA) gained $0.28 to $9.05 after the company released its earnings results on Thursday. The biopharmaceutical firm reported Q1’15 EPS of ($0.28) per share vs. ($0.27) consensus on $24 million in revenue, up 103.4% from $11.7 million a year ago. Net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 came in at $52.7 million, or ($0.28) per share, compared to a net loss of $49.8 million, or ($0.27) per share, for the same period in 2014.

Cash Position: As of March 31, 2015, Ariad’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $304 million, compared to $352.70 million at Dec. 31, 2014.

The Priceline Group Inc (PCLN) dropped $36.15 to $1,228.00 in pre-market trading after it reported fiscal results for the first quarter.

In its quarterly report, the online booking service said it earned $8.12 per share, well above the $7.72 per share analysts were expecting. Revenue rose 12.1% to $1.84 billion, above views for $1.80 billion. For the quarter ended March 31, net earnings rose to $333.3 million, or $6.42 a share, from $331.2 million, or $6.25 a share, in the same period a year ago. Priceline said gross travel bookings increased 12% to $13.8 billion from a year ago, above its previously provided outlook of 2% – 9% growth.

For Q2/15, PCLN provided EPS guidance of $10.95 – $11.75 versus consensus of $13.13 per share. The company also issued revenue projection of $2.12 – $2.27 billion, compared to the consensus revenue estimate of $2.31 billion.

On valuation measures, Priceline Group Inc. shares, which currently have an average 3-month trading volume of 531K shares, trade at a trailing-12 P/E of 27.68, a forward P/E of 18.69 and a P/E to growth ratio of 1.14. The median Wall Street price target on the name is $1,380.00 with a high target of $1,860.00. Currently ticker boasts 20 ‘Buy’ endorsements, compared to 5 ‘Holds’ and no ‘Sell’.

Profitability-wise, PCLN has a t-12 profit and operating margin of 28.69% and 36.49%, respectively. The $65.66 billion market cap company reported $3.25 billion in cash vs. $5.3 billion in debt in its most recent quarter.

PCLN currently prints a one year return of 8.20% and a year-to-date return of around 11%.

The chart below shows where the equity has traded over the last 52 weeks.

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