Sep. 24, 2014, 8:13 AM
- Retail sales could increase by 4.5% to $986B this holiday season on an improved macroeconomic backdrop, forecasts Deloitte Touche.
- The mark would easily top last year's 2.8% rise.
- Online sales are tipped to rise by 14%.
- Promotional activity across broad retail has been dialed back a touch during the back-to-school season, but is still a risk to margins heading into the crucial shopping period.
- What to watch: This holiday season could be an operational pressure cooker for UPS (NYSE:UPS) and FedEx (NYSE:FDX) with demand expected to be high.
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Sep. 22, 2014, 7:08 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) workers at five logistical centers in Germany are on strike over a wage dispute.
- The union group says it won't accept the right of Amazon to "arbitrarily" dictate salary levels, instead of using an established broad German retail wage structure.
- The job walk-off is larger than one the company faced in Germany last year.
Sep. 18, 2014, 2:25 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has introduced a handful of new devices and upgraded models, further expanding its Kindle lineup.
- At the forefront is the new $199 Kindle Voyage, the company's thinnest e-reader ever made. Amazon also gave a face-lift to its basic Kindle e-reader, which will now be equipped with a touch screen.
- Other devices include a $99 Fire HD tablet, as well as a editions that have been designed for kids. Amazon's 7 and 8.9 inch Fire tablets were also upgraded.
Sep. 17, 2014, 5:32 PM
- The joint venture between Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Lockheed (NYSE:LMT) that has a virtual monopoly on U.S. military- and spy-satellite launches is teaming with Jeff Bezos-led (NASDAQ:AMZN) startup Blue Origin to develop a new rocket engine intended to eventually replace a Russian-built engine that now powers Atlas V rockets.
- The companies say they expect testing to begin in two years, with a first flight slated for 2019; cost estimates for the new engine are not disclosed, but a typical engine development program can take at least several years and cost in excess of $2B.
- The deal comes as lawmakers and Pentagon officials have increased criticism of launch costs at the Boeing-Lockheed JV, which can top $400M for the most-capable versions of the Delta IV, the other rocket used by the venture; the JV also is confronting a major challenge from closely-held SpaceX, which is poised to become eligible for an array of Pentagon launches.
Sep. 15, 2014, 5:38 PM
Sep. 15, 2014, 4:01 PM
- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Bob Peck thinks RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) makes for an "interesting opportunity" for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
- Though the strategic option has been bandied around for a while, RadioShack's slide toward bankruptcy opens up more possibilities for the Seattle e-commerce giant.
- A RadioShack reorganization would allow Amazon to cherry-pick which of the 4K stores it would want and give it local distribution access points to help it with same-day delivery initiatives.
Sep. 15, 2014, 7:02 AM
- Tax authorities in the Indian state of Karnataka have ordered some merchants to stop storing Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) products at warehouses due to a dispute over taxes.
- The company is currently negotiating with the Karnataka government amid its warning that it will close some operations in India if an agreement can't be struck.
- E-commerce in India is expected to explode over the next few years, moving from $2.3B in sales last year to $32B by 2020.
Sep. 15, 2014, 2:51 AM
- After six months of being largely cut off from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), writers published by Hachette Book Group (OTCPK:LGDDF) are planning to appeal directly to Amazon's board over e-book prices, saying the retailer's reputation is at stake.
- Amazon wants to pay Hachette less for e-books, while Hachette authors have seen delivery delays and discount cuts as a result of the dispute,
- The 1,100 Authors United members, a group of Hachette writers and their allies, have until Wednesday to sign the letter, which will then be sent to Amazon’s 10 board members.
Sep. 10, 2014, 9:23 AM
- Same Store Sales for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) rose 45.1% in August, up from 40.4% in July, and continuing a trend of increasing the Y/Y growth rate every month in 2014.
- Continuing to lose share, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) SSS rose just 5.9% in August, down from 9.7% in July, and the weakest result for the company since February 2011. Looking further into the detail, eBay auctions fell 11% Y/Y, eBay fixed price rose 6.8% (down from 12.8% in July), and eBay Motors rose 8.4%.
- Full report
- AMZN +1.7%, EBAY -2.7% premarket
- Previously: eBay downgraded over Apple Pay
Sep. 9, 2014, 2:34 PM
- Shares of Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) are down 3.0% for the day with much of the damage occurring before the Apple event.
- The emergence of Apple Pay is a threat that has been largely factored into the Amazon matrix, although some analysts think Apple is a bit further along with strategic partnerships than anticipated.
- A win in mobile commerce through the Fire phone (only 35K sold at the end of August) looks like a challenge, they note.
Sep. 8, 2014, 4:13 PM
- Just two months after releasing the Fire smartphone, Amazon (AMZN -1.2%) has slashed the price of the 32GB version to $0.99 (with a 2-year contract) from $199. The 64GB version price is taken down to $99 from $299. The $0.99 version continues - for now - to come with a year of Amazon Prime membership.
- The phone has gotten decidedly mixed reviews, and the price cuts come ahead of tomorrow's expected unveiling of Apple's latest iPhone.
- As for sales, it was expected Amazon would move 2M-3M units in the first year, but the company - in its most recent earnings call - said it may not break those numbers out.
- Previously: Fire Phone plunges on Amazon's electronics bestseller list
Sep. 8, 2014, 2:41 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has entered advanced talks to sell its new Fire phone exclusively through Telefonica's (NYSE:TEF) O2 in the U.K. The partnership between the two could be announced as early as this week, FT reports.
- Amazon previously struck an exclusive deal with AT&T when it launched the phone in the U.S. this past summer, but the device has met with mixed reviews and reports of sluggish sales.
Sep. 5, 2014, 6:30 PM
- Bank of America has provided Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) with a $2B credit facility. The facility has an initial terms of two years, but can be extended for up to three extra one-year terms. It carries a low interest rate of LIBOR + 0.625%.
- Are new acquisitions on tap? Amazon had $8B in cash/short-term investments at the end of Q2, and $3.1B in debt. Last month, the company announced it's buying game-broadcasting platform Twitch for $970M in cash.
- Meanwhile, the WSJ reports Indian regulators are probing whether Amazon's Indian marketplace has been skirting restrictions on retail foreign investment by "selling directly to customers while making it look as if the sales are being made by other companies." Amazon's influence on product prices within its marketplace is also being reviewed.
- The new Indian government is widely expected to push for a loosening of foreign investment restrictions in retail and other areas; some initial steps have already been taken. Amazon announced in July it plans to open five new warehouses in India, and to invest $2B in the country overall.
Sep. 3, 2014, 8:37 AM
- Thomas Szkutak has been Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) CFO since joining the company in October 2002. He's retiring next June and will be replaced by Brian Olsavsky, currently VP of Finance for Amazon's global consumer business. Olsavsky has also been with the company since 2002.
- Source: Press Release
- The stock's lower by 0.1% in premarket action.
Aug. 28, 2014, 7:11 PM
- Add delivery drones to the list of products being developed by the Google X (NASDAQ:GOOG) long-term R&D division. In an in-depth column, The Atlantic reports Google has carried out over 30 test flights for its drone initiative, known as Project Wing, and hopes its drones can eventually be used by its same-day delivery service to deliver products within minutes.
- Google, whose effort has been ongoing for 2 years, has opted for an unconventional aircraft design called a tail-sitter. It's described as "a hybrid of a plane and a helicopter that takes off vertically, then rotates to a horizontal position for flying around." By contrast, Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime Air delivery drones rely on 8 helicopter-like propellers.
- Google's drones lower products to the ground using a tether featuring "a little bundle of electronics" at the end. The electronics detect when a package hits the ground, and then detach and are pulled back up.
- The Atlantic doesn't shy away from the fact plenty of reliability and safety questions remain, as do nuts-and-bolts hardware issues such as improving battery life and reducing noise. Google is said to be "in the very early days of developing a mature, reliable detect-and-avoid system."
- Wing is headed by MIT roboticist Nick Roy. Over the last 12 months, Google has bought leading military robot maker Boston Dynamics, solar-powered drone maker Titan Aerospace (meant to further Google's Web connectivity and imagery efforts), A.I. tech developer DeepMind, and hardware engineering/design firm Gecko Design.
Aug. 28, 2014, 9:29 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) releases five new shows to Amazon Prime Instant Video featuring some well-known actors and actresses.
- Three comedies - The Cosmopolitans, Really, and Red Oaks - are available for streaming along with dramas Hand of God and Hysteria.
- Early reviews have been favorable for the most part.
- Per the usual Amazon formula, only pilots have been developed for the shows until user input and data is analyzed.
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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