What happened

Shares of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA) are trading 5.5% lower at 3:15 p.m. EDT. The company released its fourth-quarter 2021 results early Thursday morning, beating some analyst targets but falling short in other ways. All things considered, investors were underwhelmed by Alibaba's effort.

So what

Sales jumped 78% higher year over year, landing at $28.6 billion. Earnings increased from $1.30 to $1.58 per diluted American depositary share (ADS). Analysts were expecting earnings of roughly $1.79 per ADS on revenue in the neighborhood of $28.1 billion. In that light, this was a mixed report. Looking ahead, Alibaba expects full-year sales to rise by approximately 30% in 2022, as measured in local currencies. By comparison, Alibaba's revenue increased by 32% in 2021 when adjusted for currency translation and the $3.6 billion buyout of Chinese supermarket chain Sun Art.

A brown bear roars at a red chart trending downward behind it.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Alibaba's stock has now slid more than 35% below October's all-time highs. The company is under the uncomfortable magnifying glass of reviews by American and Chinese regulators, which is why share prices have been trending downward in recent months. It may make sense to pick up a few Alibaba shares at these low prices, given the company's impressive revenue growth. Just be sure that you can stomach the risk of the pending regulatory reviews leading to potentially painful concessions.

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.