E-commerce giant Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has made tremendous strides this year so far, having increased approximately 68% year-to-date.
As Amazon’s third quarter comes to an end, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster weighed in on the stock yesterday, indicating that the company’s unit growth this month increased by 22-23%. Maintaining an Overweight rating on Amazon with a $650 price target, the analyst noted that the company’s increase in unit growth “would be positive relative to buyside expectations which antiquate a slight decline from Jun-15.”
One of the drivers responsible for Amazon’s unit growth increase was the company’s first ever “Prime Day,” held on July 15. As a part of the event, Amazon offered more savings than those offered on Black Friday. Although the deals were exclusively offered to Prime subscribers, the company sold a total of 34.4 million items; a figure 18% higher than achieved on Black Friday.
Munster acknowledges that Amazon’s “search interest index indicates growth in the Sep-15 quarter of 22-23%…was driven in part from Amazon’s Prime Day event (which we believe in itself will contribute 2pts to unit growth during the quarter).” However, “backing out Prime Day still shows consistent growth despite the headwind of larger numbers.”
Another driver that led to Amazon’s unit growth is Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s cloud computing platform. AWS finally started turning a profit in April of this year with sales reaching $1.57 billion in Q1. Munster expects “AWS to show continued strength and margin expansion driven by a lack of price cuts and continued positive press around the offering.”
Munster has rated Amazon 37 times total since 2009, earning an 84% success rate recommending the company and a +30.3% average return per AMZN recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark. Overall, he has a 62% success rate recommending stocks and a +21.4% average return per recommendation.
Similarly on September 11, RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney reiterated an Outperform rating on Amazon and raised his price target from $650 to $705, citing his confidence in the company’s retail segment. Mahaney believes Amazon’s “Core Retail Segment (ex-AWS) can potentially generate $27–45 in EPS within 10 years. Reaching this range implies an Active Customer CAGR of 8–10%, a Revenue/Customer CAGR of 3–4%, and 8–10% Operating Margins.”
Mahaney has rated Amazon 36 times since 2009, earning an 86% success rate recommending the stock and a +32.7% average return per Amazon recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark. On average, he has a 62% success rate recommending stocks and a +21.1% average return per recommendation.
Out of 32 analysts polled by TipRanks who have rated Amazon within the past three months, 28 are bullish on the stock and four are neutral. The average 12-month price target on Amazon is $631.33, marking a 19.71% potential upside from where the stock last closed.