Alibaba predicts its revenue will increase almost 50% this fiscal year on the backs of China’s swelling ranks of middle-class consumers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Its shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange have risen 80% since the beginning of the year, and investors are likely to get more cheer when the e-commerce company reports income for the quarter ended June 30 on Thursday. Alibaba is expected to announce adjusted earnings per share of 6.20 yuan (93 US cents), up from 4.90 yuan a year earlier, according to 24 analysts surveyed by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Quarterly revenue is likely to have risen roughly 50% from the year-earlier period to 48 billion yuan ($7.2 billion), the S&P survey showed. The company is likely to see continued growth as it leverages its wealth of big data to draw more advertising onto its platforms, Morgan Stanley Research analyst Grace Chen said in a note.