Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) - NASDAQ
  • Dec. 3, 2013, 11:10 AM
    • Rackspace (RAX -5.9%) is once more falling (previous) due to a product announcement from a cloud infrastructure (IaaS) rival, only this time the culprit is Google (GOOG +0.5%) rather than Amazon (AMZN -1.8%). The search giant has taken its Compute Engine IaaS platform out of beta, and has cut computing and persistent storage prices by 10% and 60%, respectively.
    • Amazon is also lower, as are Red Hat (RHT -1.3%) and data center owner Equinix (EQIX -0.9%). Like Racksapce, Red Hat is a major supporter of the OpenStack IaaS platform.
    • In addition to cutting prices, Google has greatly expanded Compute Engine's feature set. The company has added support for more Linux variants (inc. Red Hat and rival distributions) and popular app deployment tool Docker, and is launching a 16-core computing instance and high-I/O storage instances for intense workloads.
    • Amazon, which just unveiled several new cloud services, still has a big edge on Google in terms of scale, feature set, and developer support. But consulting firm Scalr declares Google to be ahead of Amazon in terms of performance and reliability. They're considered even on pricing.
    • Moreover Google's IT and engineering resources, together with its expertise in creating cheap, high-performance, data center hardware, should make it a solid rival in time, at least for basic computing/storage services.
    • Previous: Amazon dominates cloud infrastructure
    | Dec. 3, 2013, 11:10 AM | 11 Comments
  • Dec. 3, 2013, 7:45 AM
    • Amazon (AMZN) grew sales by 44.3% Y/Y on Cyber Monday, according to ChannelAdvisor.
    • eBay saw a 32.1% increase on the day which was below the pace of sales growth it saw for Black Friday.
    • Previous: Cyber Monday wrapup
    | Dec. 3, 2013, 7:45 AM | 4 Comments
  • Dec. 3, 2013, 4:18 AM
    • Google (GOOG) has made its Compute Engine cloud service generally available as it moves to further compete with Amazon Web Services (AMZN), Microsoft's (MSFT) Azure and IBM's (IBM) offering.
    • Google has cut prices for its infrastructure-as-a-service offering by 10%, is providing access to larger and more complex computing, and it guarantees that critical projects will remain working 99.95% of the time.
    • Photo-swapping service Snapchat is an early user of Compute Engine, processing 4,000 pictures a second on Google's servers. (Blog)
    | Dec. 3, 2013, 4:18 AM | 4 Comments
  • Dec. 3, 2013, 3:43 AM
    | Dec. 3, 2013, 3:43 AM | 3 Comments
  • Dec. 2, 2013, 10:14 AM
    • The Supreme Court declines to hear a case brought by Amazon (AMZN -0.6%) and Overstock.com (OSTK +0.9%) on whether a New York state law that forces online retailers without a physical presence to collect sales tax is legal.
    • The decision is unlikely to affect Amazon's push to see a federal framework for the collection of online sales taxes.
    | Dec. 2, 2013, 10:14 AM | 3 Comments
  • Dec. 2, 2013, 2:24 AM
    • The amount of money that consumers spent over the Thanksgiving weekend is estimated to have slipped 2.7% to $57.4B, the National Retail Federation says.
    • The drop is in contrast to estimates that Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales at brick-and-mortar stores rose 2.3%.
    • The average consumer spent $407.02 over the whole weekend, down 3.9% from last year.
    • The number of shoppers increased to 141M people from 139M.
    • The fall in spending came after retailers warned of a difficult holiday season and was due to the aggressive bargains on offer, a trend that is expected to continue.
    • However, the NRF maintained its forecast that retail sales will grow 3.9% for the whole holiday whole season.
    • Online sales climbed 17.3% on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, ComScore estimates, noting that the latter day attracted a record $1.2B in spending. The research firm expects Internet sales to rise 16% for the whole of the holiday season.
    • The most visited sites on Black Friday were those of Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY) Walmart (WMT), Best Buy (BBY) and Target (TGT).
    • Total e-commerce sales hit $20.6B in the first 29 days of this holiday season, up 3.1% from last year, although this year includes more days.
    • Today is Cyber Monday, which the NRF reckons will attract 131M shoppers vs 129M last year. But as with Black Friday, Cyber Monday has started a day early, with J.C. Penney (JCP) and Macy's (M) among those who began related promotions yesterday. Target has gone further and created "Cyber Week."
    • More on Thanksgiving sales.
    • Tickers: FDO, DG, DLTR, FIVE, TGT, SHLD, BIG, GME, COH, GPS, LULU
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    | Dec. 2, 2013, 2:24 AM | 3 Comments
  • Dec. 1, 2013, 9:11 PM
    • A sitdown between 60 Minutes and Amazon's (AMZN) Jeff Bezos makes it clear the company plans to keep investing aggressively in new businesses and stick to its philosophy of customer "centricity" to use the CEO's terminology.
    • While Amazon's AWS business might be the profit-maker for the company, it doesn't appear to be the direction of Bezos' passion. But an interesting aside was Bezos calling the service for one top customer, the CIA, a "private" cloud.
    • On distribution 101: A walk-through through one of the company's massive fulfillment centers reveals the deep extent that algorithms determine the placement of products to maximize the use of physical space. It's an edge that  feeds to AMZN's bottom line like no other retailer, note analysts.
    • On set-top boxes: Though Bezos won't directly answer question on whether or not Amazon's secret Lab 126 is working on a set-top box which could be a disrupter to the Pay-TV industry, his non-answer was revealing in its tone. The exec thinks crowdsourcing is a better way to pick content than the old Hollywood studio system - a vision that falls in line with a set-top play.
    • Previous: Amazon's next big thing. Look up.
    • 60 Minutes transcript
    | Dec. 1, 2013, 9:11 PM | 15 Comments
  • Dec. 1, 2013, 8:35 PM
    • An example of truth being stranger than fiction? During a 60 Minutes interview, Jeff Bezos (AMZN) states Amazon is experimenting with fulfilling small orders (5 pounds or less) using autonomous drone aircraft. The drone service, called Prime Air (video), is expected to go live in 4-5 years.
    • Bezos hopes the drones will allow Amazon to deliver goods within 30 minutes. "I know this looks like science fiction. It’s not."
    • The initiative is bound to face some regulatory challenges; FAA rules for drone flights in U.S. airspace are expected to be ready in 2015. There's also the question of how effective the service will be in densely-populated urban areas.
    • But if Amazon pulls it off on a large scale, it would give the company's same-day delivery efforts (bolstered by AmazonFresh) a boost as it contends with rivals (such as Google and eBay) who are partnering with major retail chains to enable same-day.
    • As the Kiva Systems acquisition demonstrated, Amazon is a fan of using robotics to improve fulfillment times and efficiency. And as its recent USPS Sunday-delivery deal showed, the company doesn't mind spending heavily to achieve those goals.
    | Dec. 1, 2013, 8:35 PM | 104 Comments
  • Dec. 1, 2013, 1:38 AM
    • Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales at brick-and-mortar stores rose 2.3% on year to $12.3B, ShopperTrak estimates.
    • The research firm reiterates its forecast that sales for the whole of the holiday season will increase 2.4%, the weakest growth since 2009.
    • Foot traffic for both days grew 2.8% to over 1.07B store visits.
    • Online sales +20% on Thanksgiving and +19% on Black Friday, says IBM.
    • Mobile traffic accounted for almost 40% of all online visits on Friday. Mobile sales rose to 26% of total online sales on Thursday and were around 22% on Friday.
    • Increased store openings on Thanksgiving seem to have eaten into sales on Black Friday, while online transactions again took business away from physical purchases.
    • Anecdotal evidence suggests that consumers came with plans of what they wanted to buy, with the result that there was much less impulse shopping. (PR)
    • More on Thanksgiving Black Friday sales.
    • Tickers: AMZN, EBAY, FDO, DG, DLTR, FIVE, TGT, BBY, WMT, SHLD, BIG, GME, COH, GPS, LULU, JCP, M.
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    | Dec. 1, 2013, 1:38 AM | 17 Comments
  • Nov. 29, 2013, 9:55 AM
    • eBay (EBAY +1.9%) and Amazon (AMZN +1.1%) are up in early trading after data from ChannelAdvisor indicates strong gains in Thanksgiving e-commerce traffic for the two companies.
    • A quick read from ChannelAdvisor showed eBay client same-store sales were up 20.3% Y/Y on Thanksgiving while Amazon's client SSS rose a blistering 48.5%.
    | Nov. 29, 2013, 9:55 AM | 4 Comments
  • Nov. 27, 2013, 11:56 AM
    • Synergy's estimates come shortly after AWS (AMZN) launched several new services for enterprises and developers at its re:Invent conference, covering fields as disparate as PC virtualization, app streaming, high-throughput storage, identity management, and data stream processing.
    • Following re:Invent, Evercore assigned AWS a $50B valuation, and predicted its sales would rise to $8.1B in 2015 from $3.5B in 2013.
    • The firm sees AWS' software marketplace, which allows apps to be used on a utility basis (Amazon gets a 20% cut), accounting for 13% of 2015 revenue, up from just 5% in 2013.
    • ReadWrite's Matt Asay thinks Evercore might be too conservative. He sees the rise of DevOps within enterprises (results in developers having more say in IT spending decisions) working to Amazon's advantage. "DevOps, it turns out, is very real. And DevOps loves Amazon."
    • Previous: Amazon dominates cloud infrastructure, app platforms a 4-way race
    | Nov. 27, 2013, 11:56 AM | 12 Comments
  • Nov. 27, 2013, 11:53 AM
    • Though Amazon Web Services (AMZN) has been seeing intensifying competition in the cloud infrastructure (IaaS) market, Synergy Research's numbers, like Gartner's, suggest AWS continues to dominate.
    • Synergy estimates AWS had a 35% IaaS share in Q3, or 5x that of #2 IBM, whose position has been bolstered by SoftLayer. All other vendors are assigned shares below 3%.
    • The situation is a little different in the cloud app platform (PaaS) market. Salesforce's (CRM) Heroku, long a major player, is given a market-leading 18% share. But AWS is close behind at 17%, and so are Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Azure (14%) and Google's (GOOG) App Engine (13%). All other vendors are estimated to have sub-5% shares.
    • Altogether, Synergy thinks Amazon grew its IaaS/PaaS revenue by 55% Y/Y, outpacing the 46% growth seen by the overall market. Moreover, AWS' IaaS/PaaS revenue is believed to have eclipsed that of Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Salesforce combined.
    • The report drives home the competitive challenges faced by Rackspace (RAX), VMware (VMW), Red Hat (RHT), and other firms striving to take IaaS and/or PaaS share from market leaders.
    • Synergy thinks the traditional Web hosting market, which Rackspace remains well-exposed to, and which has been pressured by the IaaS market's rise, only grew 3% Y/Y in Q3.
    • Last week, Stanley Druckenmiller cited AWS and its disruptive impact on traditional enterprise IT as a reason for shorting IBM.
    | Nov. 27, 2013, 11:53 AM | 7 Comments
  • Nov. 26, 2013, 2:31 PM
    • An undercover BBC reporter took a job as a "picker" at a U.K. Amazon (AMZN +0.8%) fulfillment center, and secretly filmed the demanding night shifts required of the job.
    • The reported claims to have walked nearly 11 miles during the course of one shift, and was harshly critical of Amazon's labor practices. "We are machines, we are robots, we plug our scanner in, we're holding it, but we might as well be plugging it into ourselves."
    • Meanwhile, in a quote garnering headlines, a U.K. work stress expert declared the reporter's evidence suggests the job carries "increased risk of mental illness and physical illness."
    • Amazon has responded to the story by asserting it's complying "with all relevant legal requirements," and that an independent expert appointed by the company called its warehouse jobs similar to those in many other industries.
    • This isn't the first time a media expose has taken aim at working conditions at an Amazon warehouse.
    | Nov. 26, 2013, 2:31 PM | 15 Comments
  • Nov. 26, 2013, 11:15 AM
    • E-commerce sales this holiday season will rise 14% to 17% this year to top the marks of the last three years, forecasts Jefferies. Cyber Monday sales are tapped to see +20% Y/Y sales growth.
    • The ongoing channel shift away from brick-and-mortar becomes even more pronounced when auto, restaurants, and gas are backed out of retail sales tallies. Apparel sellers are forecast to be the hardest hit, although on-trend names such as Under Armour (UA), Macy's (M), Gap (GPS), and Lululemon (LULU) should outperform.
    • The strong Cyber Monday rush could hurt foot-traffic reliant chains such as TJX Companies (TJX), J.C. Penney (JCP), Barnes & Noble (BKS), Ultra Salon (ULTA), and DSW (DSW) - according to some trends dug up by Placed.com.
    • The positive read on e-commerce sales bodes well for Amazon (AMZN), Retailmenot (SALE), eBay (EBAY), Overstock. com (OSTK), and Blue Nile (NILE) - although high expectations are already likely factored into share price.
    • Related ETFs: XLY, VCR, IYC, SCC, FXD, UCC, RCD, FDIS, PSCD, PEZ.
    | Nov. 26, 2013, 11:15 AM | 3 Comments
  • Nov. 25, 2013, 10:35 AM
    • Amazon (AMZN +0.4%) faces more turmoil in Germany where strikes at two differenct locations are creating a stir just ahead of the holiday season rush.
    • The company has been battling with a union in the nation that is pressing hard for collective agreements for Amazon workers.
    | Nov. 25, 2013, 10:35 AM
  • Nov. 25, 2013, 9:49 AM
    • Amazon (AMZN +1.1%) is already one step beyond the "plant with a plant" concept which created a stir in the retail world with its move to engage Sunday deliveries via the USPS, notes an op-ed piece in the WSJ.
    • Manley Irwin speculates that the company's ultimate crowning achievement could be the implementation of same-day deliver of online orders - considered by some the Holy Grail of retail.
    • The service could be a "potent response" from Amazon to an Internet sales tax that comes down the road.
    | Nov. 25, 2013, 9:49 AM | 1 Comment
Company Description
Amazon.com, Inc. provides online retail shopping services. It provides services to four primary customer sets: consumers, sellers, enterprises, and content creators. The company also provides other marketing and promotional services, such as online advertising and co-branded credit card... More
Sector: Technology
Country: United States