Ahead of Amazon.com, Inc.‘s (NASDAQ:AMZN) second annual Prime Day, and with speculation looming about a possible purchase of Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) ahead of its July 18th earnings release, two analysts offer differing views on how these stocks could perform. Listen in to find out what the analysts are saying and how their ratings could impact your portfolio.
Ahead of Amazon’s second annual Prime Day, JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey weighed in on the stock. The analyst reiterates his Outperform rating for AMZN with a price target of $775.00.
Key factors included in the analyst’s rating shine a light on why the analyst believes there is an upside to investing in Amazon. The company’s upcoming prime day is expected to be the largest ever, with Amazon being expected to offer more than 100,000 deals. Last year, the event added approximately 200 bps to 3Q15 revenue growth and the analyst notes that with even more deals expected to be offered this year, Amazon’s revenue growth could see an even larger jump.
Third party sellers accounted for nearly 48% of Amazon’s units moved in 1Q, and according to the analyst, Amazon is increasingly dependent on its seller network for inventory. Prime day is expected to increase deals from third party sellers by 100% year over year, globally, as the number of sellers expected to participate is anticipated to increase 100% year over year as well. The analyst maintains that the increased use of third party sellers could lead to improved margins for Amazon.
Consumer loyalty is another factor weighing in heavily on the analyst’s rating. Josey believes that Amazon Prime offers unparalleled fidelity incentive for customers, especially ahead of the holiday season. The analyst expects prime membership to increase from 50 million to 60 million or 70 million, globally. Prime membership saw a 51% increase year over year, globally, and 47% year over year, domestically. The analyst concedes that growth in European markets will be a key factor contributing to international profitability.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Ronald Josey has a yearly average return of 2.3% and a 55.9% success rate. Josey has a 19.2% average return when recommending AMZN, and is ranked #1344 out of 4035 analysts.
Out of 35 analysts polled by TipRanks, 92% of analysts issue a Buy rating for AMZN, and the remaining 8% maintain a Hold rating for the stock. The consensus price target for AMZN is $819.97, marking a 9.14% upside from current prices.
Pandora Media Inc
In anticipation of Pandora’s earnings report, expected July 18, MKM Partners analyst Rob Sanderson reiterated his Neutral rating for the stock with a price target of $11.50.
Though Pandora has drastically outperformed its peers, technical overselling of the stock contributes to the analyst’s Neutral rating. The analyst explains, “[we] do not see much opportunity for fundamental improvement in the near-term,” adding that success in the on-demand landscape is critical but abstract, with high execution and increasing competitive risk.
The analyst notes that he expects decelerating sales and lackluster user growth for Pandora in Q2. Sanderson believes that active listeners are expected to grow only 1% in Q2, with a modest 5% growth in listening hours. Consensus for ad revenue growth rests at 18%, down from 23% in Q1 and 31% a year ago. In addition, expected EBITDA loss is on track with guidance, with an expected $24 million loss compared to a $16 million profit last year.
The analyst offers that Pandora continues to be a widely held M&A prospect this quarter, with the stock up 28% following the letter Corvex sent in May urging for a sale of the company. Multiple potential purchasers have been identified, with big ticket names including Sirius XM and Liberty Media. Pandora management has been downplaying interest in selling the company, but the analyst believes that possible synergies exist in the potential sale of the company.
The analyst explains that a successful on-demand server launch is critical to the performance of Pandora’s stock. Successful penetration into the on-demand space is crucial, and the analyst affirms that the company could offer a unique and differentiated service that could widely compete with market players. Pandora’s management is currently investing upwards of $100 million into entering the on-demand marketplace, but this infiltration is unlikely to occur before 2017.
According to TipRanks, Pandora is a Moderate Buy with a consensus price target of $17.17, marking a 29.29% upside from current prices. 53% of analysts issue a Buy rating for P, with the remaining 47% maintaining a Hold rating for the stock.