Today, we're going against the grain and speak ill of Amazon (AMZN), which was up nearly a percent in trading on Friday, at the tail end of a needlessly strong week that even featured Amazon rising on the ultimate in pseudo-announcements.
Elation built on such flimsy pretexts tends not to last.
Traders rejoiced when Amazon said they had sold out of Kindle Fires, though the company, adhering to their strict and stilted tradition, failed to detail the number sold. "Kindle Fire-The #1 Best-Selling Product on Amazon Since Launch-Now Sold Out," they said in a characteristically showy press release headline, refusing to sully themselves with any details, like, uh, how many they sold, let alone how much money that made (or lost) them. Moreover, rather than a reflection of customer's bumrushing the aisles to get their hands on Kindles, Amazon's announcement merely meant that they had, in perfectly calibrated and predictable fashion (i.e. not the sort of surprise that should push a stock) wound down production in the lead-up to this week's probable announcement of a new Kindle Fire. The old one was introduced last September and, despite Amazon's celebratory announcement, those Kindle Fires. while not rolling down the factory line anymore, were still languishing in stores like Best Buy (BBY).
Also, about that revved-up anticipation of Amazon's announcement. It will be one of many product introductions.
We are, in fact, in The Week of the Tech Unveiling.
Nokia (NOK) and Motorola Mobility, the rusty relics of mobile, have scheduled events for Wednesday at which they will probably unfurl new smartphones. The next day, Amazon will try its hand at gathering notice for Kindle devices in an ever more crowded field.
After all, there were bookends too: Sony (SNY) and Samsun were among a laundry list of others that let loose last week with announcements of new tablets and phones at a German consumer electronics conference.
And next week, a small little outfit out of Cupertino called Apple (AAPL) will try its hand at product introduction. By then, Amazon's introduction could be but a distant memory.
If we only had a nickel for every tablet and smartphone announcement….we'd have enough to pay for Amazon fulfillment centers. Amazon is building out again, which means costs will outweigh product announcements or excited but maddeningly vague press releases as Amazon's major export.
And the bottom line is: it's the bottom line that matters. Amazon has suffered (count 'em) six consecutive quarters of declining profits, heading into a seventh. If you want to buy the stock, make Amazon prove you right when they report their September quarter. Consensus is for a loss of 8 cents. If they can creep up toward flat, maybe their is something to these empty announcements. But at this point, don't believe it until you see it.
With too much recent lift from pseudo-news, a crowded field of product announcements and an encroaching weight set upon the company's bottom line, we are, all told, going against the grain and suggesting selling Amazon.