What to Expect When Amazon Reports After the Close

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Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is scheduled to release its third-quarter financial results after the markets close on Thursday. Consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters call for $3.14 in EPS and $57.1 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $0.52 in EPS and $43.74 billion in revenue.

Earlier this week, Credit Suisse reiterated Amazon as a Buy and raised its price target to $2,400 from $2,100. The move came on the heels of serious selling pressure on Amazon and other high-beta internet names.

After digging through the issues for fulfillment and shipping, analyst Stephen Ju once again made extensive changes to Credit Suisse’s model. The firm has recalibrated Amazon’s growth drivers as well as modeled in incremental shipping and fulfillment expenses. The firm also has assumed the maximum impact of minimum wage hikes and the proposed fee increases coming from the U.S. Postal Service.

Credit Suisse’s fiscal 2019 earnings per share estimate is now $34.99, compared with a prior $43.11. Despite the cut, the thesis remains intact and the firm was comfortable raising its target to $2,400 from $2,100.

Credit Suisse’s investment case is one in which Amazon should continue to reap fulfillment and shipping cost benefits of this current harvest cycle given. That will come from robotics and better unit economics in its Flex delivery network through rising order density. Ju’s note did contain some offsets:

That said, offsetting some of this will be the recent announcement of a minimum wage increase and proposed USPS fee increase. We believe the former will result in an incremental ~$300 million and ~$1.1 billion increase for the fourth quarter of 2018 and 2019 respectively while the latter should be another $400 million to $1.1 billion for 2019.

Excluding Thursday’s move, Amazon has outperformed the broad markets, with its stock up about 70% in the past 52 weeks. In just 2018 alone, the stock is up 42%.

A few other analysts weighed in on Amazon ahead of the report:

  • Wedbush has an Outperform rating.
  • Goldman Sachs has a Buy rating.
  • JPMorgan has a Buy rating.
  • Jefferies has a Buy rating and a $2,260 price target.
  • Stifel has a Buy rating with a $2,525 price target.
  • JMP Securities has a Buy rating with a $2,075 target.
  • Wells Fargo has a Buy rating and a $2,300 price target.

Shares of Amazon were last seen up about 5% at $1,741.00, with a consensus analyst price target of $2,169.21 and a 52-week range of $968.55 to $2,050.50.

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