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JD.com shares jump on strong fourth-quarter results driven by holiday sales

BEIJING (Reuters) - JD.com Inc, China's second biggest e-commerce firm, said fourth-quarter revenue jumped 47 percent from a year earlier driven by strong sales during holiday shopping events at the end of last year.

JD.com's shares were up 4.4 percent in pre-market trade.

The firm also announced it had reached an agreement to dissolve its equity stake in finance business JD Finance, which is expected to be completed in mid-2017.

Amid fierce competition, JD has expanded heavily into fast moving consumer goods, including household supplies and food and beverage products. The company has also diversified into data, cloud and artificial intelligence services.

Revenue for the three months to end-December came in at 80.3 billion yuan ($11.67 billion), beating JD's forecast of 75-77.5 billion yuan and up from 54.6 billion yuan in the previous year.

JD expects revenue to fall to between 72.3 billion and 74.3 billion yuan in the first quarter, a seasonal slowdown marked by the absence of larger holiday shopping events.

The firm's core gross merchandise volume, a measure of overall sales volume for products on their platform excluding Paipai.com, rose 46 percent to 209.7 billion yuan from the year earlier.

JD.com competes directly with Tmall.com, the business-to-consumer platform run by Chinese Internet firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

In a call with investors Chief Executive Richard Liu said the company had protections in place for competitive pricing, and said price wars were ultimately good for the company.

FINANCE RESTRUCTURING

JD said it agreed on March 1 to move ahead with the reorganization of its financial business, making the unit a fully Chinese-owned entity, which is a licensing requirement for managing certain financial products in the country.

JD.com, which owns 68.6 percent of the unit prior to the deal, will sell 28.6 percent of the unit for approximately 14.3 billion yuan in cash, the company said.

JD.com chairman Richard Liu will acquire a stake of about 4.3 percent in the reorganized unit and obtain a majority of voting rights.

In return JD.com will receive 40 percent of the restructured entity's pre-tax profit after the transaction. JD.com will maintain an option to convert that back to a 40 percent equity stake should the regulatory environment change.

JD.com's net loss fell to 1.67 billion yuan, from 7.63 billion yuan a year earlier.

That translates to a net loss of 1.26 yuan ($0.18) per American depository share, compared to a loss of 5.57 yuan a year earlier.

(Reporting by Cate Cadell in Beijing and Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru,; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and David Evans)

 

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