Earnings Outlook: Alibaba earnings: Plenty of reasons to pay attention to payments

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s complicated corporate structure will have a new dimension when the company reports fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Friday, before the open.

The Chinese e-commerce giant said last quarter that it had taken a 33% stake in Ant Financial, the payments affiliate that was part of Alibaba BABA, +0.55% before the company’s IPO. Previously, Alibaba had a profit-sharing arrangement with Ant in which it received 37.5% of pretax profits.

News of the arrangement wasn’t immediately well received by investors, who sent shares down 5.9% the day of the last earnings report, in part due to concerns that Alibaba was giving up more than it was getting.

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