What happened

Shares of JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) were moving higher today after the Chinese e-commerce company got a bullish note from Bernstein.

The stock finished today's session up 3.7% after gaining as much as 7.1% earlier in the day.

A JD delivery robot on the street.

A JD delivery robot. Source: JD.com

So what

Bernstein analyst Robin Zhu initiated coverage this morning on JD.com with an outperform rating and a price target of $120, representing 26% upside from the closing price on Jan. 22.

Zhu saw a continuation in the market share shift from offline to online retail, noting that JD and other Chinese internet companies have strong access to capital, large troves of data, and impressive track records of entering new markets, including logistics and telehealth. He said he expects JD to out-compete offline rivals and to see strong growth in most of its key business segments.

Zhu gave a similar endorsement to JD rival Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), but only rated it market perform, showing he sees greater upside to JD.

Now what

After a blowout performance in 2020 that saw the stock jump 150%, the Chinese e-commerce company has gotten off to a strong start in 2021. It seems to have benefited from diminishing fears about a crackdown against Alibaba. The two companies often trade in tandem as they are subject to similar geopolitical risks.

JD will have another opportunity to delight investors in the coming weeks as the Lunar New Year kicks off. Chinese e-commerce tends to spike around holidays like the New Year and Singles' Day in November, so the festivals are opportunities for the companies to show off their growth.

JD's fourth-quarter earnings report is also due out in February. Analysts expect a 39% jump in revenue to $33.9 billion and for earnings per share to rise from $0.08 to $0.22, showing growth stock's margins are rapidly improving.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.