Apr. 2, 2014, 8:44 AM
- Share of Amazon (AMZN) are on watch today with the company set to host an event in New York City during which a video-streaming device is expected to be introduced.
- The event begins at 11:00 a.m. ET.
- What to watch: Though the device (either set-top box or dongle) will pivot around Amazon Prime, the companies which get invited into the box with third-party apps could set the tone for the direction Amazon might be with its streaming model. There's some speculation that standing as a paywall to other content could be part of the Amazon long-term plan.
- AMZN +0.7% premarket
Mar. 18, 2014, 8:19 AM
Mar. 13, 2014, 8:38 AM
- Amazon (AMZN) confirms in an e-mail to customers that it will bump up the price of Amazon Prime to $99 when their memberships renew.
- The company notes the 40K movie and TV episodes available to customers through Prime Instant Video, along with the 500K books through the Kindle lending library.
- It also makes some hay out of the two-day free shipping option for Prime members which now includes 20M items.
- AMZN +2.1% premarket
Feb. 12, 2014, 9:47 AM
- Amazon (AMZN -1.6%) has been cut to Neutral by UBS. The firm cites Amazon's soft Q4 top-line performance, and a CIRP survey that indicates only 58% and 24% of Prime subs would respectively renew following price hikes of $20 and $40 (currently under consideration).
- Intuit (INTU -5%) has been cut to Underweight by Evercore following its FQ2 guidance cut.
- Veeco (VECO +3.1%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Credit Suisse ahead of its Feb. 19 Q4 report.
- comScore (SCOR -0.8%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Northland following its Q4 beat.
- Itron (ITRI +5.5%) has been upgraded to Buy by Needham ahead of today's Q4 report.
Jan. 31, 2014, 2:38 PM
- Though its shares have tumbled, Amazon (AMZN -9.9%) has received an equal number of PT hikes and cuts (7 apiece) after missing Q4 estimates, offering soft Q1 guidance, and stating it's weighing a Prime price hike as it contends with heavy usage and still-surging fulfillment spend. S&P is the only firm to change its rating, cutting shares to Sell.
- Benchmark remains optimistic about long-term margin expansion, and believes Amazon will still deliver 32% OIBDA growth in Q1. The firm chalks up Q4's major slowdown in EGM revenue growth (23% vs. 29% in Q3) to aggressive holiday season electronics discounting.
- Cowen estimates a Prime price hike would produce $380M-$760M/year in gross profit at current subscriber levels. Morgan Stanley believes the churn impact of a hike would be limited, given its belief "Prime remains one of the best values around."
- Susquehanna likes the fact gross margin rose again. Evercore thinks Amazon's paid unit growth slowdown (25% vs. 29% in Q3) is "largely temporary," and have much to do with Amazon's international media sales being behind its U.S. ops in transitioning to digital.
- Amazon mentioned on its CC (transcript) active accounts rose by 13M Q/Q to 237M. 3rd-party sellers accounted for 39% of paid units vs. 40% in Q3.
Jan. 31, 2014, 9:09 AM
Jan. 30, 2014, 4:26 PM
- Amazon (AMZN) saw revenue growth decelerate in Q4 from the previous two quarters (Q3 24%, Q2 22%).
- North America sales rose 25.9% Y/Y to $15.33B, while International sales were up 12.8% to $10.26B.
- The company saw a nearly even growth rate between media and electronics in North America.
- Q1 guidance is below expectations. Sales are projected at $18.2B-$19.9B and the company sees an operating gain/loss of -$200M to $200M.
- AMZN -9.9% AH
Jan. 17, 2014, 9:15 AM
- The warning from UPS (UPS) this morning is a double-edged sword with Q4 EPS cut due to transitory higher costs from temporary workers, but the outlook for 2014 factoring in more underlying demand factors. UPS stayed within its long-term profit growth targets, but missed analyst expectations.
- Shares of FedEx (FDX) are lower in early trading after the UPS guidance cut.
- Though there's plenty of speculation that the UPS Q4 miss, due in part to a surge in late online orders, could be a signal that Amazon's (AMZN) delivery traffic exceeded expectations - investors aren't betting the house on that premise just yet.
- Premarket: UPS -2.9%, FDX -1.3%, AMZN -0.1%.
Dec. 13, 2013, 9:38 AM
- Amazon (AMZN +1.3%) has been upgraded to Strong Buy by ISI.
- Stratasys (SSYS +2.5%) has been started at Overweight by Stephens.
- Ciena (CIEN +1.5%) has been upgraded to Outperform by BMO a day after posting mixed FQ4 results and slightly disappointing FQ1 revenue guidance (midpoint below consensus).
- Ubiquiti (UBNT +1.1%) has been started at Outperform by Wells Fargo.
- Procera (PKT +2.1%) has been started at Buy by D.A. Davidson.
- China Mobile Games (CMGE +3%) has been started at Buy by Brean.
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
Nov. 14, 2013, 2:21 PM
- Several analysts argue Amazon's (AMZN +3.1%) cloud-based WorkSpaces PC virtualization platform could prove to be a long-term threat to Citrix (CTXS -5.4%) and VMware's (VMW -2.9%) on-premises offerings.
- Nomura notes WorkSpaces is initially focused on SMBs, who tend to shy away from expensive on-premises deployments, rather than the enterprises Citrix derives a large portion of its sales from. But it still thinks the platform could become "a serious and broader-based competitor if it ends up vying for larger enterprises." Jefferies, meanwhile, calls WorkSpaces attractively priced and a threat to the majority of Citrix's business.
- Stifel is defending Citrix. The firm argues Amazon is "targeting the low-end of the DaaS market as it doesn’t offer the full range of features (or deployment options) that Citrix’s desktop solutions offer." It's worth noting many cloud-based apps/services initially targeted SMBs before gradually moving upmarket.
- Also: Amazon has launched AppStream, a service that allows apps hosted on its cloud infrastructure to be streamed to mobile devices (and perhaps eventually PCs). The service could end up acting as competition for Citrix and VMware's app virtualization platforms.
- In addition to Amazon, Cisco's guidance is likely pressuring Citrix and VMware. Citrix and Cisco have an application delivery controller partnership, and VMware (though competing with Cisco in some areas) maintains a multi-faceted software alliance with the networking giant.
- Last month, VMware bought Desktone, developer of a PC virtualization platform than can enable cloud-based services. VMware has promised to cross-sell Desktone's platform to its 11K service provider partners.
Nov. 13, 2013, 1:43 PM
- At its annual re:Invent conference, Amazon Web Services (AMZN +1.2%) has unveiled WorkSpaces, a PC virtualization offering that allows businesses to host virtual desktops on Amazon's cloud infrastructure.
- PC virtualization/thin client software leader Citrix (CTXS -3.7%) dived following the product launch, but has recouped some of its losses following news the company is an AWS PC virtualization partner. Top Citrix rival VMware (VMW +0.2%) has fallen moderately, but is still near breakeven.
- Amazon asserts WorkSpaces is easier to manage than traditional PC virtualization offerings, and also carries much lower up-front costs. AWS chief Andy Jassy: "Virtual desktops are difficult to set up, they’re difficult to manage, you have to worry about the hardware, the virtual desktop infrastructure ... We wondered if there were an easier way."
- WorkSpaces is priced fairly aggressively - Amazon is charging $35-$60/month per user, depending on the plan, and doesn't require any long-term commitments.
- Also: AWS, which has depended heavily on Internet companies for its early growth, has bolstered its enterprise chops by adding support for SAML 2.0, a commonly-used identity management protocol. Adding SAML 2.0 support makes it easier for enterprises to manage access to, and enable single sign-on for, AWS-hosted services.
Oct. 28, 2013, 2:17 PM
- Standpoint Research enters the debate on Amazon (AMZN -1.1%) by initiating coverage on the company with a Sell rating and a soft price target of $280.
- Though the ratings snub from the investment firm is creating a bit of a selling ripple in afternoon trading, it's an inside baseball blog post from an ex-Amazon employee on the company's misunderstood business model that could prove to be the more insightful read.
Oct. 25, 2013, 11:33 AM
- Raymond James has upped Amazon (AMZN +8%) to Strong Buy following its Q3 revenue beat, while setting a PT of $446. It's far from alone in raising its PT; RBC has set an upside scenario target of $500, while declaring the quarter "something of an inflection point."
- Jefferies observes Amazon's op. income has topped the high end of guidance for 8 straight quarters. Evercore likes the fact Amazon's North American 33% electronics & general merchandise (EGM) sales growth (~2x U.S. e-commerce growth) beat the firm's 27% estimate.
- Accelerating growth - Q3 rev. growth of 24% topped Q2's 22% - and ongoing gross margin improvement - Q3 GM rose 240 bps Y/Y to 27.7% - are getting attention. Global media revenue ($5.03B) +9% Y/Y in Q3 vs. +7% in Q2, EGM ($11.05B) +29% vs. +28%.
- Amazon's total Q3 paid unit growth was 29%, even with Q2, and 3rd-party sellers still made up 40% of unit sales. Active accounts +9M Q/Q to 224M after rising by 6M in Q2. Also, North American "Other" sales (dominated by AWS) rose 56% Y/Y to $1.01B.
- At the same time, Amazon's aggressive spending isn't letting up. Fulfillment spend rose to 11.5% of revenue from 10.5% a year ago, and tech/content spend to 9.2% from 7.8%. TTM capex +$320M Q/Q to $4.59B.
- Interestingly, eBay (EBAY -1.6%) is lower even as Amazon soars. When contrasted with Amazon's figures, eBay's Q3 Marketplaces numbers and Q4 guidance point to further share losses on a relative basis.
- Q3 results, details/guidance, CC transcript
Oct. 25, 2013, 9:22 AM
Oct. 24, 2013, 4:25 PM
- Amazon (AMZN) grew product sales at a fast clip of 19.6% in Q3, and services sales rose even faster at 45%, but total operating expenses didn't just go away as the company's cost of sales rose 20% to $12.366B during the period.
- Sales grew 31% for the company's North America segment and 15% for International as the net sales mix moved 3 bps back toward North America.
- The company sees Q4 revenue of of $23.5B - $26.5B to top its earlier forecast, but with a mid-point below the analysts' consensus estimate of $25.9B.
- The guidance for Q4 operating income is -$500M to +$500M, a nifty $1B range for a single quarters' worth of sales. (PR)
- AMZN +6.0% AH to $351.36.
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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