Baird Top Analyst Applauds, Inc. (AMZN) Momentum Following Holiday Press Release

After, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) delivered its annual post-Holiday press release yesterday, top analyst Colin Sebastian at Baird sees another home-run for Amazon Retail.

Between Amazon Prime and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), over one billion items were shipped worldwide this holiday season. Moreover, this year was a particular triumph for Prime, with higher global numbers of people trying the service throughout the season compared to any year in the past, including 2014’s whopping 10 million new members and last year’s 3 million during the tail-end of December.

As such, the analyst is out singing the online retail giant’s praises and reiterates an Outperform rating on shares of AMZN with an $850 price target, which implies a just under 10% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

One key takeaway for Sebastian is that Amazon’s “Mobile growth remains solid,” explaining, “While not an apples-to-apples metric comparison, for reference, last year the number of customers shopping on Amazon’s mobile app doubled Y/Y.” Over 72% of consumers have opted to shop on Amazon via their mobile devices, a 2% rise compared to this time last year, and a 56% jump when glancing at worldwide shopping mobile app numbers.

Furthermore, not only is Prime Now’s growth “impressive,” the analyst believes, “As the company continues to build-out last-mile delivery capabilities and product selection in under-penetrated categories such as home/kitchen, apparel, and grocery, Prime Now will be an increasingly important driver of incremental share gains,” particularly when looking ahead to the next three to five years.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s Echo Dot device has now sold “millions” starting from its launch last fall and has become the giant’s best-seller as well as its “most gifted item.” Sebastian notes, “While Amazon’s device sales are still relatively small growth drivers currently, we believe the proliferation of these devices will drive more ubiquitous use of Amazon services over time (i.e., increased order frequency with voice-enabled purchasing, more granular insights into consumer interest/browsing behavior, etc.).”

Another winning card in Amazon’s hand is its “convenience,” as the analyst underscores, “Amazon is one of the few, if only, retailers that can reliably provide expedited delivery on such a wide-range of items, particularly during the peak holiday season.”

Though post-election lead to a sluggish start for e-commerce growth, thanks to the “Cyber Five” period that consists of the time following Thanksgiving through mid-December, transaction volumes are tracking much better, which the analyst views as a greater reflection of a transition to online shopping over consumer retail spending.

Colin Sebastian has a very good TipRanks score with a 69% success rate and a high standing of #37 out of 4,290 analysts. Sebastian garners 14.3% in his yearly returns. When recommending AMZN, Sebastian earns 32.5% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit AMZN as a Strong Buy. Out of 31 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 29 are bullish on Amazon stock while 2 remain sidelined. With a return potential of nearly 24%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $952.89.

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