Amazon Edges Higher After Pivotal Research Initiates Coverage with $1,920 Target


Amazon Inc. (AMZN) shares edged higher in pre-market trading Monday after analysts an Pivotal Research initiated coverage on the stock with a price target that suggests more than 20% upside potential for the world’s biggest online retailer.

Pivotal analyst Brian Wieser pegged a year-end price target of $1,920 per share for Amazon as he initiated coverage of the stock with a “buy” recommendation based on the group’s retail activities as a play on global consumer spending, which some estimate at nearly $45 trillion. Pivotal also sees Amazon’s advertizing business, which generated around $9 billion in revenue last year, as having the ability to provide “incremental growth” that’s independent of consumer spending.

“Amazon is one of the world’s largest retailers (with a sideline in fast-growing and high-margin advertising activities) and also owns one of the world’s largest software businesses,” Wieser wrote. “Despite its current massive size, we see Amazon’s opportunities as mostly unconstrained based on a successful track record of capitalizing on consumer and IT department spending.”

Amazon shares were marked 0.67% higher in pre-market trading Monday, indicating an opening bell price of 1,586.00 each, a move that would trim the stock’s one-month decline to around 2.6% and value the Seattle, Wash.-based group at just over $775 billion. 

Wieser also called Amazon Web Services a “remarkable growth story” that should generate around $25 billion in 2018 revenues, a figure that would make it the world’s fourth biggest software company on a standalone basis.

“With significant revenue streams from storage, computing, networking and other software, Amazon has firmly established itself as capable of deploying new products and servicing IT departments of companies large and small around the world,” Wieser noted.

The Pivotal coverage note followed a series of price target cuts in the sector last week from Goldman Sachs, which lowered estimates for Amazon, Twitter Inc. (TWTR) and Snap Inc. (SNAP)   even as the investment bank said the sector will likely outperform the broader markets.

“We are updating ratings, estimates and targets across the sector largely to reflect our current outlook for each company, changes in FX, and the contraction in comparable multiples across the sector,” a team of Goldman analysts wrote in a note out Friday morning.

The note mentioned that the average one-year forward earnings multiple for internet companies hit a five-year low in December, of below 15.6, which does “largely reflect” underlying fundamentals.



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