Don Dion

About the Author Don Dion

Don Dion is the owner and Chief Investment Officer of DRD Investments, LLC, based in Naples, FL. and Williamstown, MA., a family office focused on managing a long/short hedge fund, real estate assets and various other financial assets for the Dion family. Don no longer manages money for other families or institutions. Mr. Dion is also the trustee of the Dion Family Foundation which focuses on helping individuals with tuition assistance at Catholic Institutions for grammar school, high school and college education. The foundation also helps individuals by supporting health care institutions particularly Massachusetts General Hospital. Don is on two leadership and advisory committees at Massachusetts General Hospital, consults with Saint Dominic's Academy and serves as a trustee of Saint Michaels College. Mr. Dion is the retired publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser (http://www.fidelityadviser.com/) family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investor commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 30,000 subscribers in the United States and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes two monthly newsletters and one weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 16 years and reaches over 25,000 subscribers. Mr. Dion is also the sole founder and retired C.E.O. of Dion Money Management (http://www.dionmm.com/), a fee-based investment advisory firm for affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he was responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Massachusetts and Naples, Fl., Dion Money Management managed over $900 million in assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries when he sold the company to Focus Financial Partners in September of 2007. Mr. Dion was the co-founder, Chairman and C.E.O. of Litchfield Financial Corp. "LTCH" a NASDAQ listed company which went public in 1992 and was acquired by Textron Corp. in 1995 for cash consideration. Don was also the Executive Vice President, C.F.O. and General Counsel for Bluegreen Corp. "BXG" a NYSE company from 1986 to 1988. Mr. Dion graduated with honors from Saint Michaels College in 1976 with a B.S. degree in Economics and Business Administration. He received his J.D. degree from the University of Maine Law School in 1979 and his LL.M. degree from Boston University Law School in 1982. After law school, Mr Dion was employed as a tax and estate planning lawyer with the Boston Law Firm of Warner and Stackpole from 1983 to 1985 and Ernst and Young as a C.P.A. from 1979 to 1983

Amazon.com, Inc (AMZN) Super Bowl Advertisement: A Buying Opportunity

Making a move to broaden exposure for its Echo speaker and hardware device, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)┬ápurchased a 30-second spot for $5 million that aired during the Super Bowl game last Sunday night. The ad, which featured Dan Marino and Alec Baldwin interacting with Alexa, the Echo device’s virtual assistant, was Amazon’s pitch to increase product knowledge for its Echo to the millions of viewers watching the Super Bowl. Amazon already enjoyed increased sales of Echo devices over the holidays, but many people were still unaware of the product. By advertising during the Super Bowl, Amazon reached out to millions of potential new customers, making them aware of Echo’s existence and what it does. It is unclear whether the sales of the device have increased since the Super Bowl, as Amazon does not release sales figures for its individual products.

Amazon Web Services as a Potential Long-Range Profits Driver

While Amazon is well-known for as an e-commerce juggernaut, the company’s Amazon Web Services is now dominating the field of the provision of scalable cloud computing. CEO Jeff Bezos and the management of Amazon believe that AWS could eventually equal the size of its e-retail business. During the fourth quarter, the company’s revenue from AWS rose by 69 percent to $2.4 billion with an increase of AWS’s operating income surging to $687 million, a 186 percent increase. Analysts believe that Amazon has the potential for its AWS to be a major profit and revenue driver for many years.

Amazon Works to Broaden Its Own Delivery Services; Loosen Ties With UPS

Amazon is also seeking to broaden its own package delivery services and loosen the ties the company has with UPS. This move comes as Amazon reported shipping cost expenses of 11.7 percent in the fourth quarter, an increase from its previous cost of 10.4 percent of revenue. This could help the company lower its shipping costs and free up additional revenue.

Recent Results and Competitor Comparison

Amazon’s total year-to-date returns have fallen by -25.71 percent, reflecting its uneven performance. However, over the last one year, the company’s total return percentage has increased by 34.3 percent. Competitor Alibaba has experienced a year-to-date drop of its total returns by -22.92 percent and a one-year drop of -28 percent.

Recommendations: Time to Buy

Amazon’s exposure via its Super Bowl ad brought product awareness for Echo to potentially millions of new customers. This should translate into increased sales for the Echo. The company’s AWS is quickly growing and has the potential to drive long-range profit and revenue growth.

If Amazon continues its drive to lower its shipping costs by expanding its own ability to deliver packages globally, it has the potential to increase its available revenue and cut its cost margin. Amazon appears poised to increase profits, and we strongly suggest that investors consider buying shares.