Alibaba loses its ‘strong buy’ rating at Raymond James amid concerns about e-commerce growth

Raymond James analyst Aaron Kessler still likes shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
though he’s becoming a bit more cautious on the name. Kessler lowered his rating on the stock by a notch Friday, downgrading it to outperform from strong buy and reducing his price target to $240 from $300. “While we remain positive on Alibaba long-term and believe valuation remains attractive…we believe the recovery in shares could take longer given the recent slowing of e-commerce growth combined with continued regulatory actions across China,” he wrote. Kessler argued that factors like “intermittent lockdowns” amid the pandemic and supply-chain issues could negatively impact e-commerce growth in China. “While some of these are transitory, we believe these factors are weighing on consumer retail growth near-term and there is increased uncertainty in terms of a growth recovery,” he wrote. Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares are off 0.9% in premarket trading Friday. They’ve lost 33% over the past three months while the S&P 500

has fallen 0.3%.

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