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.
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
Nov. 28, 2014, 12:27 PM
- IBM estimates U.S. Thanksgiving online sales rose 14% Y/Y, aided by a 29.8% increase in sales from department store sites. Mobile respectively accounted for 32.3% and 52.1% of sales and site traffic, up from 25.8% and 42.6% a year ago. Average order value fell by $7 to $125.
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM -0.9%) reports its clients' Thanksgiving same-store sales rose 20.1%. Their Amazon (AMZN +1.7%) same-store sales rose 25.9%, but their eBay (EBAY +0.8%) sales fell 3%. Notably, all other marketplaces collectively saw 110% growth - retailers such as Best Buy and Sears have been adding marketplaces to complement their direct sales.
- For reference, ChannelAdvisor reported 32.4% and 4.4% Amazon and eBay October same-store growth, respectively. eBay has been losing marketplace share to Amazon for some time, and was hit this summer by Google algorithm changes and a security breach.
- Early reports for Black Friday sales have generally been positive.
Nov. 14, 2014, 12:48 PM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has rallied to its highest levels since mid-September, and is now up 17% from an Oct. 24 low of $284 (set in the wake of Amazon's Q3 miss and light Q4 guidance). Volume (5.1M shares) is already above a 3-month average of 4.5M.
- The rally comes in the wake of this morning's October retail sales report. Excluding auto, total retail sales rose 0.3% M/M, slightly below a 0.4% consensus. Traditional department stores saw a 0.3% M/M and 3.5% Y/Y drop.
- Earlier this week, ChannelAdvisor (ECOM -0.9%) reported its clients saw 32.7% Y/Y Amazon same-store sales growth in October. That's down from September's 37.9%, but still over 2x U.S. e-commerce growth.
Oct. 24, 2014, 9:15 AM
Oct. 23, 2014, 5:42 PM
Oct. 23, 2014, 4:17 PM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) reports another unprofitable quarter amid strong growth and a flurry of new device releases.
- North American revenue +24.9% Y/Y to $10.301B
- International revenue +13.6% to $7.712B.
- Media revenue +4.2% to $5.244B
- Other revenue +36.7% to $1.382B.
- Fulfillment spend +29.9% to $2.643B.
- Operating cash flow +15% to $5.71B.
- Guidance: The company sees revenue of $27.3B-$30.3B in Q4 vs. $30.9B consensus. A Q4 operating loss of between -$570M and -$430M is expected.
- AMZN -8.5% AH.
Oct. 15, 2014, 4:45 PM
- Internet stocks are selling off in AH trading as Netflix craters in response to its light Q3 subscriber adds and disappointing Q4 guidance, and eBay slumps after providing weak Q4 guidance and reporting only 6% Y/Y Q3 Marketplaces growth.
- Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) -1.6% AH. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) -1.5%. Amazon (AMZN - taking share from eBay) -2.8%. Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) -1.9%. LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) -4.2%. YELP -1.4%.
- Internet ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
Sep. 15, 2014, 5:38 PM
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
Aug. 13, 2014, 10:37 AM
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM +0.4%) clients saw a hefty 40.4% Y/Y increase in their July Amazon (AMZN +3.1%) same-store sales. That's up from June's 34.4%, and is easily the highest rate seen in the last 12 months. 38.2% of tracked Amazon GMV was fulfilled by Amazon, up from 29.8% a year ago.
- On the other hand, eBay's (EBAY -1.1%) same-store growth fell to 9.7% from June's 12.3% Auctions -8.2%, fixed-price +12.8%, Motors +8%. ChannelAdvisor sees the numbers as a sign eBay "continues to face headwinds" from Google algorithm changes and a May data breach.
- Search ad-driven same-store sales, which are dominated by Google (GOOG +1.3%) AdWords, fell to 7% from June's 20.4%. While average order value (AOV) grew 6% and conversion rates 8%, mobile growth led ad prices (cost per click) to fall 7%.
- Google Shopping/product listing ads (previous) continue to perform well: They saw 40.8% same-store growth, down a bit from June's 47.8%. Conversion rates fell 9.5%, but AOV grew 8.9% ChannelAdvisor thinks mobile is hurting conversion rates, and that Google is "counteracting that by showing higher-priced items."
- Amazon also rallied following ChannelAdvisor's June numbers. Shares tumbled a couple weeks later due to the bottom-line concerns caused by Amazon's Q2 report.
Jul. 25, 2014, 9:13 AM
Jul. 25, 2014, 7:20 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), says Cowen's John Blackledge maintaining his Outperform rating but lowering the price target to $390 from $410, "delivered a mixed report with units stabilizing and a topline result and guide that met expectations, but the profitability disappointed. Also, AWS price cuts put an unexpected dent in growth."
- Also continuing with a Buy rating, but lowering the price target is BofA's Justin Post who cuts to $400 from $420, noting the Q3 profit outlook as coming in well below expectations.
- Baird and Evercore also cut price targets, and B. Riley pulls its Buy rating, downgrading to Neutral.
- Shares -9.8% premarket
- Previous Amazon earnings coverage
Jul. 24, 2014, 7:35 PM
- "We have a long-term view ... We’re not trying to optimize for short term profits," states Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) CFO Tom Szkutak on the Q2 CC, repeating a mantra his company has uttered in some form for years. Judging by the reaction to the company's EPS miss and guidance for a sizable Q3 op. loss, investor patience seems to be wearing thin.
- Szkutak admitted Amazon Web Services' near-term growth has been hurt by an ongoing cloud infrastructure price war with Microsoft and Google - while North American "Other" revenue was up 38% Y/Y, it fell 3% Q/Q, and Y/Y growth decelerated from Q1's 60%.
- He also suggests Amazon's Q3 bottom line will be pressured by a "significant" increase in video content spend. The company plans to spend $100M on original programming alone, as it tries to counter Netflix's big content investments and keep Prime renewal rates high.
- On the bright side, Szkutak says Prime subscriptions are still growing well following this year's $20 price hike, and that Q2 subscriber adds topped year-ago levels (no specific numbers, as usual). CIRP survey data appears to back him up.
- Regarding China, he states Amazon has "a lot of interesting things" planned, and will continue investing in the Middle Kingdom. Alibaba remains the Chinese e-commerce market's 800-lb. gorilla.
- Q2 results, guidance/details.
Jul. 24, 2014, 4:38 PM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) expects Q3 revenue of $19.7B-$21.5B (+15%-26% Y/Y) vs. a $20.8B consensus. Op. loss is expected to total $410M-$810M, up from just $25M a year earlier.
- North America revenue rose 26% Y/Y in Q2 to $12B, and international revenue 18% to $7.3B. The growth rates are even with Q1 levels. North America had a $438M segment op. profit, and international a $34M segment op. loss.
- Media revenue +10% Y/Y to $4.8B, a pickup from Q1's 8% growth. EGM revenue +27% to $13.3B, an even growth rate with Q1.
- "Other" revenue +37% to $1.22B, with North American "Other" (dominated by AWS) rising 38% to $1.17B. Amazon claims 90% Y/Y AWS usage growth.
- Gross margin +210 bps Y/Y to 30.7%. Fulfillment spend +15% to $2.38B, marketing +40% to $943M, tech/content +40% to $2.23B. Free cash flow for the trailing 12 months is $1.04B.
- Citi's pre-earnings downgrade was well-timed.
- Q2 results, PR
- Update: North American "Other" revenue, while up 38% Y/Y, fell 3% Q/Q. Major AWS price cuts (came in the wake of big cuts from Google, and were followed by similar cuts from Microsoft) appear to be the culprit.
Jul. 11, 2014, 11:07 AM
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM +6.9%) clients saw a 34.4% Y/Y June increase in their Amazon (AMZN +4.5%) same-store sales. That growth rate is well above May's 28.1%, and is the highest rate seen in the last 12 months.
- Client eBay (EBAY +2.5%) same-store sales grew 12.3%. That's a little better than May's 11.5%, and suggests the toll taken by a data breach and Google algorithm changes might be abating a bit. Auctions -19%, fixed-price +18.4%, Motors +10.4%.
- A positive for Google (GOOG +0.9%): Search ad-driven same-store sales rose 20.4%, a big improvement from May's 11.5% and the 2nd-highest level seen in the last 12 months. Cost per click (ad prices) rose 5% to $0.48, conversion rates 6% to 2.81%, and average order value (AOV) 7% to $137.02.
- ChannelAdvisor notes AOV has historically "been a good indicator of consumer sentiment," and that the appeal of Google AdWords for marketing costlier items remains strong.
- Meanwhile, Google's product listing ads (PLAs) keep gaining traction as a vehicle for selling cheaper goods. Their same-store sales rose 47.8%, sharply above May's 21.4%. AOV fell 8.7%, but conversion rates rose 10.5%.
- Deutsche has upgraded ChannelAdvisor to Buy. eBay reports on July 16, Google on the 17th, and Amazon on the 24th.
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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