* JD.com Q3 revenue 44.1 bln yuan vs. 44.29 bln yuan forecast
* Q3 net loss more than tripled to 530.8 mln yuan
* Company forecasts Q4 revenue of 51-52.5 bln yuan (Adds company comment, Q4 forecast, context)
By Paul Carsten
BEIJING, Nov 16 (Reuters) - JD.com Inc, China’s second largest e-commerce firm, said third-quarter revenues rose 52 percent from a year ago, in line with expectations on Monday, as user numbers and orders grew at a rapid clip.
However, the results mark JD.com’s first quarter-on-quarter decline in revenue and its slowest annual growth rate in at least two-and-a-half years.
Revenues could slow even further, as the ripples of China’s economic slowdown spread through domestic industries and begin to hit consumer’s wallets.
The firm forecast sales growth slowing even further in the final three months of the year. That is mirrored at larger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, where the total value of goods being ordered shows a similar trend.
JD.com said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to be 51-52.5 billion yuan, or a growth rate of 47-51 percent.
Executives highlighted the company’s strategy of targeting online shoppers hunting for higher quality products as a growth driver.
“This was another quarter of strong growth, as JD.com increasingly becomes China’s source for fast, worry-free shopping online,” said CEO Richard Liu in a press release.
The company’s revenues for the three months ended September were 44.1 billion yuan ($6.9 billion), versus an expected 44.29 billion yuan, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
JD.com in August had forecast third-quarter revenues of 43.2-44.7 billion yuan, and warned the results could be hurt by the impact of China’s economic slowdown on online consumer spending.
Its net loss widened to 530.8 million yuan, more than three times bigger than its loss in the same quarter a year ago as costs increased for its main business of selling its own stock of goods to customers. Ballooning marketing expenses also took their toll.
$1 = 6.3700 Chinese yuan Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Miral Fahmy, Edwina Gibbs and Sanjeev Miglani