After Alibaba was awarded with a neutral rating for their shares’ price target, Goldman Sachs were at odds with the company’s advisors. Their price target was set much lower than the price target of other banks that are closely involved with last month’s initial public offering.
Research was recently published by six banks that led the $25 billion flotation for Alibaba, after they observed the research blackout to follow the new listing. For the next twelve months, the price targets are as high as $118 (Citigroup) and low as $102 (Goldman).
On their first day of stock trades in New York, last month, Alibaba saw their shares increase by a third. Their record high has been $100.67, since their issue price of $68 per share. A recent conference call in Hong Kong showed a lot interest still exists from investors. On the conference call that was organized by Citi, there were over 300 investors that dialed in.
Goldman Sachs stated that one reason they were unable to give Alibaba a higher rating had to with a run-up in the company’s shares. They went on to add that they expected the shares to eventually appreciate over time. One analysts stated that a steady growth could lead to a $350 billion market capitalization or an estimated equity value of $133 within two years.
There are a number of banks, besides Goldman Sachs that segregate investment bankers from analysts to protect the independence of researchers. Recently, some banks have gone even further and blocked emails from being transmitted between both groups. The other lead advisors for Alibaba, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Citi, and J.P. Morgan gave Alibaba a rating of “overweight” or “buy”, with these price targets: $111, $112 (two advisors), $114, and $118 respectively. Alibaba has become the largest ecommerce platform in the world.