In this segment from the Motley Fool Money radio show, host Chris Hill and Million Dollar Portfolio's Matt Argersinger consider the good and the bad (yes, there is some) in the Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) investment thesis. It's tough to be worried by its earnings miss, given that it reflects the huge investments the company's making right now. But is the stock overvalued or a bargain? Depends on what you're comparing it to.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on May 19, 2017.
Chirs Hill: Shares of Alibaba hit an all-time high this week. Fourth-quarter revenue for the Chinese e-commerce giant rose 60%. Matty, they're also buying back some stock.
Matt Argersinger: Yeah, 60% is a huge number when you think of the revenue base. We're talking about what, this year, is going to be a $25 billion revenue base for Alibaba. We know how dominant they are. Stock is up 40%. Earnings -- not that we want to pay too much attention to them -- were missed only because they're investing so much in cloud computing, particularly entertainment properties, they're in a battle with Baidu's iQiyi and Tencent right now to be the YouTube of China. A good place to be investing. My thing with Alibaba, it's up 40% year to date, it trades for 12 times sales. And it's a $300 billion company. It's not too expensive. But, I look at that compared to Amazon at three times sales, and I say, is the risk really worth it, even though the opportunity, probably, compared to Amazon, is so much larger?
Hill: How much attention should people pay to the cloud computing stuff? Because that got some headlines this week. Alibaba appears to be paying attention to what Amazon has done with Web Services and said, "Hey, maybe we could do that."
Argersinger: Sure. I mean, he would imagine they have the same kind of infrastructure, they could do that kind of thing. But, in Chinese businesses in particular, there's a lot of headline-grabbing and saying, "They're doing it, we're going to be doing it, and we can do it at a bigger scale because it's China!" So, I tend to be a little bit more skeptical about those announcements.
Chris Hill owns shares of Amazon. Matthew Argersinger owns shares of Amazon and Baidu. Matthew Argersinger has the following options: short December 2017 $800 puts on Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Baidu. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.