Seeking Alpha, Inc. (AMZN)

  • 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. 12, 11:57 AM | 16 Comments
  • Mon, Jan. 5, 6:52 AM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) says it sold more than 2B items across 100 different nations in 2014.
    • Use of the company's Fulfillment by Amazon was up over 65% for the year.
    • International sales from China and Hong Kong sellers rose 80% during the period.
    | Mon, Jan. 5, 6:52 AM | 26 Comments
  • 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.
    • Related stocks: BBY, DKS, CAB, SPLS, TJX, BIG.
    | Sat, Jan. 3, 7:51 PM | 45 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 2, 8:13 AM
    • Amazon India (NASDAQ:AMZN) might debut streaming music and video services this year, according to The Economic Times.
    • Slow Internet speed is one of the biggest obstacles the company faces in the nation.
    • Amazon will face competition from established e-commerce player Flipkart in India.
    | Fri, Jan. 2, 8:13 AM | 3 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 2, 2:43 AM
    • As Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) finished its worst year on the market since 2008, CEO Jeff Bezos saw his holdings lose about $7.4B in value after shares plummeted more than 22%.
    • Shareholders punished Amazon for its free spending on projects such as the Fire smartphone and a widening network of warehouses, despite other areas in the company's business model seeing growth, including Prime membership and Amazon Web Services.
    | Fri, Jan. 2, 2:43 AM | 7 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 1, 2:19 AM
    | Thu, Jan. 1, 2:19 AM | 17 Comments
  • Dec. 30, 2014, 11:58 AM
    • Instacart is now valued at $2B after bringing in $210M from investors.
    • The online grocery delivery start-up is expected to clear $100M in revenue this year.
    • An expansion outside of mainstream grocery products is expected to be unveiled by Instacart in 2015.
    • The developments with Instacart have some bearing on Amazon (AMZN -0.5%) (rival) and Whole Foods Market (WFM +1.2%) (partner).
    • Previously: Grocery stores 2.0: Place your bets (Dec. 06 2014)
    • Instacart's SEC Form D filing
    | Dec. 30, 2014, 11:58 AM | 5 Comments
  • Dec. 26, 2014, 9:51 AM
    • Though it still won't disclose its exact Prime subscriber count, Amazon (AMZN +0.9%) states today (in a holiday season sales update) it "[welcomed] more than ten million new members to Amazon Prime this holiday season." With the company providing a 30-day free trial for Prime, it won't know for another month exactly how many of the new users have become paid subscribers.
    • Amazon announced a year ago it had "tens of millions" of Prime members. In September, RBC's Mark Mahaney estimated (following a U.S. survey) Amazon had 40M-50M Prime subs globally, and 30M-40M in the U.S. The company has been busy expanding Prime's free content offerings to help reel in subscribers, and keep existing ones loyal following a $20 price hike earlier this year.
    • 50M paid Prime subs would bring in nearly $5B/year in subscription fees to help pay for the service's content and two-day shipping costs. Bernstein has estimated Amazon's content costs will top $2.5B in 2015.
    • Amazon also states: 1) Orders for its nascent same-day delivery service rose over 10x Y/Y during the holiday season. 2) Black Friday Fire tablet and Kindle sales (boosted by price cuts) respectively rose ~3x and ~4x Y/Y. 3) Nearly 60% of customers shopped using a mobile device during the holiday season, with app-driven U.S. smartphone sales doubling.
    | Dec. 26, 2014, 9:51 AM | 105 Comments
  • Dec. 23, 2014, 7:25 PM
    • It’s pretty clear why many energy stocks are hurting amid falling crude oil prices, but Morgan Stanley has researched across industries to determine some less clear-cut winners and losers.
    • Airlines consume huge amounts of fuel, but the firm says American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) and Allegiant Travel (NASDAQ:ALGT) should benefit more than most from lower oil prices since they do not hedge the price of fuel to reduce price volatility.
    • Among autos, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) draws concern because "lower-for-longer oil certainly hurts the case for mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.”
    • Since lower gas prices should reduce shipping costs, Stanley sees the benefit trickling into Q1 per-unit shipping costs at Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
    • The firm likes Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) on the idea that Americans getting cheaper gas might be more ready to splurge on energy drinks, and gas stations and convenience stores account for 75% of MNST’s sales.
    • Among apparel companies and retailers, Stanley likes brands that are most popular with lower-income consumers, who they believe are most likely to put the money they save into new purchases: PLCE, FL, FINL, BWS, SKUL, ARO, BURL, ROST.
    | Dec. 23, 2014, 7:25 PM | 59 Comments
  • Dec. 23, 2014, 2:59 PM
    • The strong reads on consumer spending (ICSC, Redbook) bode well for Q4 earnings in the retail sector, note analysts.
    • Electronics sellers (BBY, HGG) and the luxury sector (RL, TIF, COH, KORS, KATE, FOSL, VRA) are viewed as being in a good position to see a December boost.
    • Companies which eased off on pulling a bulk of their sales forward with Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals are also seen as potential winners with sub-$2 gas resetting some holiday budgets.
    • Though e-commerce is expected to dazzle again this holiday season. It's not all fun and games for analysts looking at margins. The extension by Amazon (AMZN -0.1%) of its free shipping offer could be a signal that inventory levels are higher than anticipated and that the growth-at-all-costs mentality at the company is as entrenched as ever, notes Nasdaq Advisory Services.
    • The S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) has doubled up the return of the S&P 500 over the last 3 months, 10.8% vs. 5.1%.
    • Previously: Retail trends to watch: Athleisure, P-E buyouts, and new online channels (Dec. 20 2014)
    | Dec. 23, 2014, 2:59 PM | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 20, 2014, 10:17 AM
    • The S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) is up 3.4% over the last month to outpace the S&P 500 Index as consumer spending trends improve. Analysts have honed in on some categories which show some promise for growth.
    • Drugstores: The transition by the sector into more health/wellness services sets it up for new growth channels. CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) reported strong comparable-store sales despite the full tobacco exit, while Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) is prepping for a roll-out of RediClinics and HealthSpot kiosks. The visibility on Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) is somewhat clouded by the giant Alliance Boots integration, although it's ahead of rivals on the tech front with its rewards program, pharmacy app and developing online doctor concept.
    • Athleisure: There's some gender initiatives going on in the athletic apparel sector with Under Armour (NYSE:UA) and Nike (NYSE:NKE) growing their women's business and Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) expanding on the men's side. All three companies have been closely on-trend with their assortment in a category with explosive demand. Importantly, pricing has held up this holiday season in the U.S., note retail watchers.
    • Online replenishing: Fresh research into shopping trends indicates certain categories see continued buying through the online channel as consumers become attuned to a brand. Retailers positioned well to see more gains from the trend include Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM), Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), Office Depot (NASDAQ:ODP), Sephora (OTCPK:LVMHF), Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS), and of course Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
    • P-E buyouts: There are plenty of candidates in the retail sector for a leveraged buyout similar to the action that helped propel shares of PetSmart (NASDAQ:PETM) +40% from their lows. Keep an eye on Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO), and Ann (NYSE:ANN).
    | Dec. 20, 2014, 10:17 AM | Comment!
  • Dec. 18, 2014, 8:14 AM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) confirms it has rolled out Prime Now in Manhattan.
    • The delivery service promises one-hour delivery for qualifying products at a price of $7.99.
    • The company has set up a base of operations and fleet of bikes at a building on 34th street in the middle of the island.
    • Customers of Prime Now must pay the $99 per year Prime membership fee to qualify for the service.
    • Amazon expects to roll out the service to other cities next year.
    • Previously: Amazon testing bike messengers to enable 1-hour delivery
    | Dec. 18, 2014, 8:14 AM | 13 Comments
  • Dec. 17, 2014, 12:59 PM
    • Online sales of beauty and personal care products are booming, according to a new report from A.T. Kearney.
    • A survey by the research firm indicated 47% of all shoppers increased the amount of beauty and personal care products they bought online this year.
    • The category is proving to be defined by online "replenishing" shopping after consumers become attuned to a brand.
    • The overall e-commerce penetration rate for prestige beauty/personal care is 11% vs 6% for mass products.
    • Companies benefiting from the trend include Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA), and Sephora (OTCPK:LVMHF).
    | Dec. 17, 2014, 12:59 PM | 2 Comments
  • Dec. 16, 2014, 3:59 PM
    • Internet stocks have posted substantial losses after a morning market rally proved short-lived. The Nasdaq is down 1.2%.
    • In addition to Google, which has made new 52-week lows, Facebook (FB -3%), Twitter (TWTR -4.7%), Amazon (AMZN -3.5%), and Netflix (NFLX -3.2%) are among the underperforming names. Other decliners: Z -5.5%. TRLA -5.4%. MELI -5.4%. ZNGA -4.9%. ZU -3.2%. ANGI -3.4%.
    • The selloff comes even though Goldman upgraded its rating for the sector to Attractive from Neutral today. The firm noted Internet stocks are collectively down 16% over the last 12 months (maybe 18%-19% after today), and that forward EV/EBITDA multiples have contracted significantly.
    • Internet/social media ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
    | Dec. 16, 2014, 3:59 PM | 13 Comments
  • Dec. 15, 2014, 7:43 PM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) adds HBO Go to the Fire set-top box in a move that it hopes will increase the device's attractiveness with consumers.
    • HBO and Amazon already have an online licensing deal which gives Fire owners an exclusive crack at streaming HBO shows three years after they premiere.
    • The addition of HBO Go to the Fire TV gives HBO subscribers instant access to the network's current programming
    | Dec. 15, 2014, 7:43 PM | Comment!
  • Dec. 15, 2014, 7:02 PM
    • The WSJ reports Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has "approached retailers about creating a 'buy' button" for Google Shopping that would work much like Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) one-click ordering feature.
    • Google is also said to be "considering a [Google Shopping] marketing program that would allow merchants to promote two-day shipping." The program would be similar to one from ShopRunner that provides unlimited two-day shipping from various retailers for $79/year. Amazon Prime, of course, provides unlimited two-day shipping (among other things) for $99/year.
    • Sources caution several retailers approached by Google were cool to the "Buy" button concept, fearing more price competition and a loss of control over the shopper experience. Google could profit from the button either by charging a transaction fee, or by simply seeing higher conversions when it's used (thus raising ad prices). The company might also get better conversion data than it's currently receiving.
    • As ChannelAdvisor's data drives home, Google Shopping ads (deeply integrated with Google search) have been seeing rapid growth; Wal-Mart, Best Buy, eBay, and Sears are among their many buyers. Amazon, though spending plenty on standard Google search ads, is a high-profile holdout.
    • Google officially launched its $95/year Shopping Express same-day/next-day delivery service (competes against Prime's same-day services) in October. Around the same time, Eric Schmidt called Amazon Google's biggest search rival, due to the fact Amazon shoppers are more likely to bypass Google search.
    | Dec. 15, 2014, 7:02 PM | 22 Comments
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Company Description 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.
Sector: Technology
Country: United States