Big Things in Store for BABA

Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) could head to new highs in coming weeks, possibly overtaking records set in late January, says one market watcher

The Chinese e-commerce company has seen a consistent upward swing in the last 12 months and has generally moved higher during the past two years. Its stock has more than doubled since the beginning of 2016.

So far this year, its shares have risen nearly 16%, a better run than the rest of the technology industry. They erased 93 cents to $198.13 Friday morning.

Alibaba has short interest at 4.8% of its float, above the average 3.6% on the S&P 500. Such a level puts it within the range of the S&P 500's top 100 most shorted stocks, though that index does not hold Alibaba shares. One of its closest competitors, Baidu, has short interest at 1.3% of its float.

Alibaba has posted double-digit revenue growth every year since 2013, including a 48% rise last year. Analysts expect growth to accelerate this fiscal year — those surveyed by FactSet anticipate a 69% year-over-year sales increase.

"It's obvious the Chinese government wants them to come back to China. Many people in China have lost out on these returns, up close to 90% since their IPO," said one expert "We would own the name for the near term and the long term."

The majority of analysts on Wall Street have a buy rating on Alibaba and an average $229 price target, according to FactSet. That target implies 15% upside to Thursday's close.