Despite more than 80,000 cases of COVID-19 reported on mainland China to date, shares of JD.com (JD 3.41%) have held relatively steady over the last month, as investors expect e-commerce companies to benefit with more people staying indoors. The latest earnings results seem to be keeping investor confidence up.
JD.com reported better-than-expected revenue and earnings on Monday, March 2. Revenue of $24.5 billion beat the consensus analyst estimate for $23.9 billion, while earnings of $0.08 came in slightly above the expectation for $0.07.
Investors applaud the performance
"We achieved robust top-line growth for the fourth quarter as Chinese consumers increasingly associate the JD brand with trust and reliability," said CEO Richard Liu. Indeed, fourth-quarter revenue climbed 26.6% year over year, with net service revenue up 43.6%.
Liu added, "We also saw strong customer growth, especially in China's lower-tier cities, driven by innovative marketing, superior product selection, and better customer service." For 2019, JD.com saw revenue increase 24.9%, driven by growth in active customer accounts of 18.6%, reaching 362 million.
For the first quarter, management is calling for revenue to increase by 10% year over year, which reflects the company's current assessment of the potential impact from the coronavirus. That outlook was good enough to send the shares up 12% after earnings.
Alibaba's (BABA 4.92%) Lazada grocery business has reported "unprecedented demand" stemming from fears of COVID-19, and some investors expect other e-commerce businesses like JD.com to benefit as well.
JD.com is a distant second behind Alibaba in China's burgeoning e-commerce market, but as JD continues to grow its business, profitability is gradually improving. That is giving investors a reason to buy this growth stock, which is inching close to its 2018 high of about $50.