By Natalie Waters
Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) founder and executive chairman Jack Ma has further solidified his position as the richest man in Asia this year.
As of June 9, Ma, 52, owned 178,272,449 shares of Alibaba, which amounts to 7% of the company’s shares. Assuming he owned the same amount of shares on January 1 of this year, Ma’s net worth has increased by at least $14 billion in 2017 alone.
Shares of Alibaba have risen an incredible 90% year-to-date from $87.93 to $166.19. That means the value of Ma’s shares has increased from $15.7 billion to $29.6 billion.
Ma has other investments, meaning his net worth is probably more than the $29.6 billion he’s made from Alibaba shares alone. According to real time data from Forbes, Ma’s net worth hit $37.9 billion on Thursday morning. That’s an increase of $30.8 billion from October 2013 when he was worth $7.1 billion. Alibaba went public in September 2014.
Alibaba CFO Maggie Wu addressed the market’s love for Alibaba in 2017 on the company’s 2018 first quarter earnings call on Thursday morning. She said that the company’s focus on long term strategy and innovation has allowed it to continually “translate ideas into reality.” While the company has consistently delivered results, the market is now recognizing the value that those results have created, she noted.
Before Thursday’s market open, Ma’s company reported 56% year-over-year growth in revenue to $7.4 billion, topping estimates for $7.1 billion, according to the company’s 2018 first quarter report. Earnings came in at $1.17 per share, also beating estimates for 93 cents per share.
“The company is absolutely crushing it,” Lead Edge Capital managing partner Mitchell Green said. Green said he was particularly impressed with the company’s 56% year-over-year growth in revenue, the 12 million annual active buyers it added for a total of 466 million, as well as improving margins.
Shares of Alibaba were advancing 4.88% to $167.01 in late morning trading on Thursday.