Wed, Jan. 28, 2:46 PM
- WorkMail, an Amazon (AMZN -0.1%) corporate e-mail/calendar solution launching in Q2, takes aim at a market dominated by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and in which Google (Gmail/Google Calendar) and IBM (Notes/Domino) are also prominent.
- Amazon isn't primarily looking to replace Microsoft Outlook and other client-side e-mail apps, but rather server-side platforms such as Exchange. The e-commerce giant argues its solution will be easier to use/deploy than alternatives, and also offer better security on account of having all data encrypted with customer-managed keys.
- This isn't the first time Amazon has layered a value-added business service on top of AWS: It has already launched Workspaces, a PC virtual desktop solution, and Zocalo, an enterprise cloud storage/document-sharing platform.
- Pricing is aggressive, but not incredibly so: Amazon is charging $4/user/month for WorkMail on a standalone basis (50GB of storage), and $6/user/month if bundled with 200GB of Zocalo storage. Forbes' Ben Kepes is impressed with the offering, but also would like to see Amazon provide more storage and "make a foray into broader office productivity functionality."
Fri, Jan. 23, 6:54 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) plans to reduce the price on Amazon Prime to $72 for a 27-hour period this weekend.
- The price drop is part of a promotion tied to original TV series Transparent.
- All 10 episodes of the Golden Globe-winning series will available for streaming on Saturday outside of the Prime service.
Thu, Jan. 22, 2:54 PM
- Amazon (AMZN +4.3%) has acquired Annapurna Labs, an Israeli chipmaker that has provided few details about the silicon it's working on. The NYT reports the purchase price is $350M. The WSJ previously reported of a $350M deal price, while adding the final tab could be $375M if certain conditions are met.
- According to the WSJ's sources, Annapurna is developing "midrange networking chips for data centers, offering improvements over existing products in terms of information-transmission rates and power consumption." Israel's Calcalist reports the company is developing "microprocessors that allow fast data traffic for low-power computing servers and storage servers." It also notes CPU core giant ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) is an investor.
- AWS' data centers contain hundreds of thousands of servers running Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) x86 CPUs. Though Amazon has downplayed the efforts of 3rd-party ARM server CPU vendors, it has also hired several key engineers from defunct ARM CPU vendor Calxeda, a move that has fueled speculation Amazon is prepping its own ARM server chips. Annapurna could assist with the effort.
- The news comes on a day in which Piper has assigned AWS a ~$32B valuation.
- Earlier: Amazon rallies following eBay's earnings
Thu, Jan. 22, 11:44 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has surged above $308 after eBay reported its Marketplaces revenue and GMV respectively rose just 1% and 2% Y/Y in Q4, a sign of further share loss to Amazon and other rivals. The Nasdaq is up 0.9%.
- eBay also provided light Q1 and full-year guidance, and announced it's laying off 7% of its workforce. The company blamed its Q4 performance on SEO (Google algorithm) changes, a strong dollar, and a password reset requirement following last spring's security breach.
- Amazon's Q4 report arrives on Jan. 29. Shares jumped yesterday following a Carl Icahn rumor that was quickly shot down by CNBC.
Wed, Jan. 21, 11:29 AM
- Amazon (AMZN +2.7%) is the latest company to spike higher on a rumor Carl Icahn has taken a stake. Shares have pared their gains after CNBC's Scott Wapner reported (citing sources) Icahn has no position in Amazon.
- Twitter popped in the wake of similar rumors a couple weeks ago. Icahn later denied having a stake in the company.
Wed, Jan. 21, 8:21 AM| 16 Comments
Mon, Jan. 19, 10:16 AM
- Amazon Studios (NASDAQ:AMZN) announces it will produce up to 12 original movies a year.
- Film veteran Ted Hope will lead the creative development efforts from the studio.
- The movies will be available on Prime Instant Video only 30 to 60 days after releasing in theaters.
- Amazon is likely to keep its crowdsourced movie script competition part of the equation
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon have won critical acclaim for their original content.
- What to watch: A move toward shorter theatrical windows in the industry hurts exhibitors (CKEC, AMC, CNK, RLD, IMAX, RDI, MCS).
- Previously: Upstarts land major trophies at Golden Globes (Jan. 12)
Fri, Jan. 16, 5:27 AM
- The European Commission has disclosed a preliminary finding stating that Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) tax arrangements in Luxembourg was founded on favorable and selective treatment that amounts to illicit state aid.
- The 23-page letter says that Luxembourg hastily approved a "cosmetic" tax deal with Amazon in 11 days, allowing the company to shift profits to a tax-free unit.
- The case also has political significance as the tax deal was negotiated in 2003 while Jean-Claude Juncker, current commission president, was serving as Luxembourg’s premier.
Thu, Jan. 15, 12:40 PM
- Barry Diller says there's no stretch left on pay-TV pricing as he dissects the influence of Amazon Prime (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the industry.
- He warns on the Prime model where adding subscribers for the company dwarfs concerns on viewership and advertising.
- By the sound of it, Diller isn't recommended staying long cable stocks (CMCSA, TWC, CHTR, CVC) or positive on programmers (SNI, CBS, AMCX, FOXA, VIA, VIAB, MSG, DIS) set to renegotiate carriage deals.
- CNBC interview (video)
- Previously: Woody Allen to direct series for Amazon Studios (Jan. 13)
- Previously: Amazon added over 10M new Prime users during holiday season (Dec. 26, 2014)
Wed, Jan. 14, 9:39 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) undercuts Wal-Mart's pricing by about 4% on the most popular consumer products.
- Analysis by Boomerang Commerce indicates the company uses a complex pricing strategy to claim ground as the lowest price option on high-volume SKUs, while giving third-party resellers territory in product categories with lower demand.
- Pricing on add-on items such as phone cases or HDMI cables are particularly prone to be maximized by algorithms.
- The sophisticated algorithm used by Amazon leads its to achieve a Price Perception Index of -2.5% vs. +0.49% for Wal-Mart.
- The PPI is a price optimization index aimed to measure customer psychology.
Tue, Jan. 13, 11:49 AM
- In a note titled "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow," Citi's Mark May has upgraded Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to Buy, and upped his target by $29 to $354.
- May: "At current price levels, we estimate Amazon’s retail business is trading at the traditional retailer average of 0.7x out-year GMV (this group includes WMT, TGT and COST), while its AWS/Other business is trading ~5.6x 2015 revenue versus its comp-set average of 6.8x." He adds the retail business is expected to grow 15% this year vs. 4% industry growth, and that AWS/Other is expected to grow 35%.
- Regarding Amazon's bottom line, May observes CSOI margins were ~6% (above that of traditional retailers) around 2011, before the company stepped up AWS and international investments. He also notes gross profit (doesn't account for fulfillment spend, which has been growing rapidly) has outpaced revenue growth each of the last four years. "We see the company expanding EBITDA margin to its highest level in >10 years."
- Citi downgraded Amazon on July 22, when shares were at $360. Today's upgrade, along with a market rally, has propelled shares back above $300.
Tue, Jan. 13, 9:26 AM
- Amazon Studios (NASDAQ:AMZN) announces it signed Woody Allen to direct a TV series for Prime Instant Video.
- The 24-time Oscar nominated director has never guided the action for a TV series during his long career.
- The 30-minute episodes of the untitled project will eventually be available in the U.S., U.K., and Germany.
- Previously: Upstarts land major trophies at Golden Globes (Jan. 12 2015)
Mon, Jan. 12, 11:57 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) won major awards at the Golden Globes last night in a further confirmation of the influence of the streamers.
- Amazon Studios won the Best Series - Musical of Comedy for Transparent.
- Kevin Spacey took home best actor in a TV drama for House of Cards. In a well-timed move, Netflix also released the trailer for season 3 of House of Cards today (YouTube).
- In another win by an upstart, IFC Films (NASDAQ:AMCX) landed the trophy for Best Film with Boyhood.
Mon, Jan. 5, 6:52 AM
Sat, Jan. 3, 7:51 PM
- The intense competition in retail over free shipping policies is expected to bring some pain to Q4 margins as big box and e-commerce firms scrap for market share, warn analysts.
- ComScore reports that free delivery on online purchases rose to 68% in 2014, up from 44% last year.
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN): 2014 shipping costs were up 32% through Q3. That mark comes before a holiday season in which the company says it saved customers a mere $2B in shipping fees.
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT): The Bentonville giant has already warned investors it will spend heavily on e-commerce and fulfillment center expansion as it eyes +30% growth in online sales. The company may have difficulty dialing back its free delivery policies, say industry insiders.
- Target (NYSE:TGT): Wolfe Research projects a 1% shift in Target sales to e-commerce cuts into the firm's profit margin by 5 bps.
- What to watch: Online sales rose 16% in Q3 vs. 4% for broad retail, a differential that is expected to have widened in Q4. Retailers with a sharp shift in mix to online could have trouble hitting consensus EPS estimates.
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Fri, Jan. 2, 8:13 AM
AMZN vs. ETF Alternatives
Amazon.com Inc is an online retailer. The Company sells its products through the website which provides services, such as advertising services and co-branded credit card agreements. It also offerselectronic devices like Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.
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