Amazon.com (AMZN), the amazing Teflon stock that trades at more than three times Facebook's (FB) earnings multiple in spite of having declining earnings and having seen its estimates for the present quarter slashed by 90%, just had a couple more pieces of interesting and relevant news.
Microsoft (MSFT) slashed Azure pricing per transaction by 90%
Microsoft Azure, an Amazon.com AWS competitor, slashed its pricing per transaction by 90%, to $0.01 per 100,000 transactions. It seems other companies can play at Amazon.com's loss leader game too. Companies, I must add, with a lot more cash to burn.
As is in Amazon.com's character, one should expect that soon enough Amazon will announce price cuts of its own to match Microsoft's.
FedEx (FDX) increases shipping rates by 6.9%, from July 9
FedEx just announced another pricing increase. This is somewhat surprising as we've been seeing lower crude prices recently. This increase isn't structured as a fuel surcharge - those remain the same as per FedEx. These increases seem to show at this point the bargaining power is on the side of the delivery service providers. This too can have a negative margin impact on Amazon.
Even as Amazon.com continues to trade at a forward 2012 P/E of 177 (based on $1.23 2012 consensus EPS) versus Facebook's 50 (based on $0.54 2012 consensus EPS), it still shows itself to be continuously under margin-oppressing fire. Indeed, Amazon.com not only continues to trade at a huge premium to other internet players, but it actually has its earnings, estimates and margins going the wrong way.
Mass delusion or manipulation, this is bound to come to an abrupt end at some point. And then, Facebook's 30% drop from its IPO price will seem like child's play. For Amazon.com to trade at a multiple comparable to where Facebook is today, Amazon would have to trade at $61.50. And remember, Facebook has increasing earnings; Amazon doesn't.
Disclosure: I am short AMZN.