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Alibaba lowers second-quarter gross merchandise volume estimates

A customer points at a screen displaying a website of Alibaba’s Taobao at a rural service centre in Yuzhao Village, Tonglu, Zhejiang province, China, July 20, 2015.

Reuters/Aly Song

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) said on Tuesday it expected second-quarter gross merchandise volume (GMV) to be lower than its initial estimates due to weaker consumer spending in China.

The company’s shares reversed course and slipped as much as 3.1 percent to $61.91 in late afternoon trading. They had earlier gained as much as 4.5 percent.

Alibaba said it now expects GMV to be lower in mid-single digits on a percentage basis from its earlier estimates.

The company was “still in early innings in terms of mobile monetization,” said Jane Penner, head of investor relations, at Citi’s Global Tech Conference on Tuesday.

Gross merchandise volume is the total value of transactions made on Alibaba’s platforms and is one of the most closely watched metrics for e-commerce companies.

The company also said its expects growth in its AliExpress business to slow to low double digits for the quarter ending September due to weakening currencies in markets such as Russia and Brazil.

The AliExpress business is a global online marketplace for shoppers to buy directly from China. A majority of Alibaba’s international commerce retail business revenue is generated by AliExpress.

Worries on margins, slower growth in China and a sell-off in tech ADRs have taken a bite out of Alibaba’s shares, which now trade firmly below the IPO price of $68.

Up to Friday’s close, the company’s shares had fallen about 39 percent this year.

(Reporting By Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru and Vikram Subhedar in London; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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