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Amazon: Bezos The Magician

|Includes:, Inc. (AMZN)

This is the closing narration of the 2006 movie "The Prestige", a movie about an ongoing rivalry between two magicians.

Every magic trick consists of three parts, or acts. The first part is called the pledge, the magician shows you something ordinary. The second act is called the turn, the magician takes the ordinary something and makes it into something extraordinary. But you wouldn't clap yet, because making something disappear isn't enough. You have to bring it BACK. Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.

In Amazon's case, Bezos is the magician and the analysts and buysiders are the audience. Bezos presents his ordinary retail business and his magic is delivering revenue growth and making profitability disappear. The audience asks, why aren't you profitable now, like Wal-Mart was when it was experiencing the same amount of growth? Bezos replies - because we are investing in our growth! Unfortunately, Amazon has yet to complete the 3rd step - bringing the profitability back. The analysts of course don't care if whether they were really investing or not, they want to be fooled. And they have been.

Disclosure: I am short AMZN.