By Cate Cadell
(Reuters) - JD.com, China's second largest e-commerce firm, saw its stock jump over 7 percent in pre-market trading on Monday after it reported better-than-expected income for the quarter ended in Sept. 30, due to strong sales.
JD posted a net profit of 1 billion yuan ($151 million), its highest ever quarterly profit and outstripping analyst estimates of a 213 million yuan loss.
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Revenue for the quarter was 83.8 billion yuan, just above analysts' mean estimate of 83.6 billion according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Despite strong bottom line results, gross merchandise volume (GMV) growth still dropped to its lowest rate in a year, reflecting a seasonal lull in sales before China's biggest online sale event, Singles' Day, which ended on Saturday.
"[Sales of appliances and mobile phones] both were dragged by weaker growth in September ... mainly due to competition and slow seasonality," said TH Data Capital analyst Tian Hou in a research note ahead of the earnings.
JD.com, the country's largest consumer electronics retailer and second-largest e-commerce firm behind Alibaba Group Holding Ltd <BABA.N>, booked $19 billion in total sales for Singles' Day, which will be reflected in its fourth quarter earnings.
The results come as China's e-commerce giants increasingly experience seasonal peaks around mega sale events in June and November, moderated by sluggish interim periods.
JD expects revenue for the quarter ending in December to be 107-110 billion yuan, a rise of 35-39 percent, roughly in line with analyst expectations. However, marketing costs related to the November sales, which ran for over a month, are expected to cut into its bottom line.
JD is expanding rapidly into offline stores and overseas markets, as rival Alibaba continues to invest heavily in logistics and retail alongside its marketplace business, edging further into JD's territory.
This year, JD is investing in logistics infrastructure in Southeast Asia, expanding from existing commitments in Indonesia. At home, JD is hoping to tap big spenders with new 'white glove' platforms which feature imported food, fashion and electronics.
Last week during a visit to China by U.S. President Donald Trump, JD said it would purchase $2 billion in U.S. goods, including $1.2 billion in beef, over the next three years.
(Reporting by Cate Cadell in Beijing and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Mark Potter)