Why Wall Street Now Expects Amazon to Become an $800 Billion Powerhouse

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Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) released its most recent quarterly results late on Thursday, and it seems that this was one of the few companies to survive Friday’s market carnage. In fact, Amazon’s earnings were so good that the firm ended what was the worst day in the markets since Brexit up about 3%. As a result, analysts were quick to chase Amazon even higher.

24/7 Wall St. has included a few brief highlights from the earnings report, as well as what analysts have been saying about Amazon.

The e-commerce giant posted $3.75 in earnings per share (EPS) and $60.5 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters were $1.85 in EPS on revenue of $59.83 billion. In the fourth quarter of last year, Amazon said it had EPS of $1.54 and $43.74 billion in revenue.

For the fourth quarter, net income was $1.9 billion, compared with net income of $749 million last year. The quarter also included a provisional tax benefit for the impact of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 of roughly $789 million.

In terms of its segments, Amazon reported:

  • North America net sales increased 42% year over year to $37.3 billion.
  • International net sales increased 29% to $18.0 billion.
  • AWS net sales increased 44.6% to $5.11 billion.

Looking ahead to the first quarter, Amazon expects to see operating income in the range of $300 million to $1.0 billion and net sales between $47.75 billion and $50.75 billion. The consensus estimates call for $1.80 in EPS and $48.73 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Merrill Lynch detailed in its report:

North American retail and AWS growth and profit metrics beat estimates, but international revenue and profit metrics missed estimates. Its solid North American retail performance is a positive leading indicator that shows the business model can achieve higher profitability and can show accelerating gross profit growth and improving margins.

Credit Suisse raised its price target to $1,750 from $1,410 as the firm assumes a lower tax rate as well as models a higher growth trajectory for advertising. The analyst noted that this outperformance came across all reporting lines, with Third Party Services particularly strong, consistent with prior results. Another highlight was the ongoing strength in its other revenue, which includes its nascent advertising business.

CFRA (S&P) raised its price target to $1,600 from $1,350, based on the continued strong growth across its segments. The firm said in its report:

We keep 2018 EPS estimate of $8.15 and set 2019’s at $14.46. Fourth quarter adjusted EPS of $2.13 (before tax gain) vs. $1.54, was $0.30 above consensus. Including Whole Foods since August 2017, sales rose 38% to the high end of Amazon’s target range, with likely holiday e-commerce strength in the U.S. and overseas. We see continued strong growth and margin expansion at Amazon Web Services. Consolidated EBIT was $1.2 billion. Amazon sees first quarter sales up 34%-42% and EBIT of $300 million – $1 billion, quite encouraging.

Other analysts weighed in on Amazon as well:

  • Oppenheimer reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its price target to $1,650 from $1,450.
  • Citigroup raised its price target to $1,700 from $1,600.
  • Cowen raised the price target from $1,500 to $1,700.
  • Deutsche Bank raised its price target to $1,650 from $1,525.
  • Jefferies raised its price target from $1,450 to $1,750.
  • JPMorgan raised the target price to $1,650 from $1,390.
  • Morgan Stanley raised its target to $1,500 from $1,400.
  • And Wedbush raised the price target to $1,750 from $1,285.

Shares of Amazon closed Friday up 3% on the day to $1,429.95, with a consensus analyst price target of $1,379.69 and a 52-week trading range of $803.00 to $1,498.00.