Tech companies surged to record highs yesterday, with Amazon stock closing 2% higher at just below $2,498.00 per share. The move helped fuel another 2% gain for the NASDAQ, which is now trading within 3% of February’s all-time high.
Amazon stock has rallied over 50% from the lows struck in mid-March and is up 32% since the start of the year. Gains have been fuelled by expectations that the company is well positioned to benefit from shifts in consumer behaviour due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hedge funds in particular have never been more bullish on AMZN stock.
Holdings increased by 8 million shares in Q1, with the number of bullish positions on AMZN amongst hedge funds rising 25% to 251. Amazon was the number one stock amongst hedge fund managers at the end of December and March.
Amongst those opening new positions in the first quarter were Jorge Lemann of 3G Capital Partners, Brad Gerstner of Altimeter Capital Management, and David Tepper of Appaloosa Management.
Social distancing, lockdown measures, and supply shortages in bricks-and-mortar retailers drove consumers online during the first quarter, helping push Amazon sales up 18% internationally and 29% for North America. Q1 earnings, released at the end of April, showed revenue of $75.5 billion and earnings per share of $5.01 for the first three months of 2020; revenue was higher than estimates, while EPS fell short.
Amazon’s Web Services cloud computing business saw sales grow 33% during the period, surpassing the $10 billion mark for the first time. Sales growth continues to slow, but the shift to homeworking could see many more businesses needing to harness the power of the cloud to keep operations running, and this could be a long-term shift in business culture rather than a temporary measure.
Subscriptions to Amazon Prime were up as well; the combination of expedited shipping and video and music streaming proving an offer that is hard to resist while stuck at home. Advertising revenues also climbed, growing 33% to over $3.9 billion. Here, again, Amazon is set to benefit as businesses adapt to the pandemic; more marketing spend is being directed online as other channels, such as event sponsorship, dry up.
However, Amazon is known to spend big, and it looks like Q2 will be no exception. On the Q1 conference call, Jeff Bezos told investors that he expected to spend the $4 billion or more in estimated operating profit from Q2 on “Covid-related expenses getting products to customers and keeping employees safe”. The stock had fallen after hours, but fund managers are betting that the costs will help Amazon to operate more effectively under “new normal” conditions going forward.
Amazon holds a “Strong Buy” rating amongst Wall Street analysts, with a price target of $2,673.17 representing a 7% upside. Only one of 41 analysts covered by our Analyst Recommendations tool has a “Sell” rating on the stock.
OPEC meeting weighs on crude oil ahead of US EIA inventories dataRead More
Stocks grind higher, dollar squeeze continuesRead More
IPO market coming back to life?Read More
OPEC meeting preview: record production cut to be extended?Read More
Stocks nudge up, GBP breaks higherRead More
May’s top Blends: Einhorn rises, Corona fallsRead More
Stocks rally, dollar offered, OPEC meeting may be brought forwardRead More
Week Ahead: Central banks on tap, NFP faces massive Covid hitRead More
ECB preview: Welcome to Japan?Read More
Markets.com is the state-of-the-art trading platform provided by Markets.com. As part of the TradeTech Group, a constituent of Playtech, a FTSE 250 listed company, at Markets.com we have deep knowledge of the financial markets and an incredible range of resources to continually raise the bar in the world of financial trading.
Markets.com, operated by Safecap Investments Limited (“Safecap”) Regulated by CySEC under License no. 092/08 and FSCA under Licence no. 43906.
Markets.com, operated by TradeTech Markets (BVI) Limited (“TTMBVI”) Regulated by the BVI Financial Services Commission (‘FSC’) under licence no. SIBA/L/14/1067.
Markets.com operated by TradeTech Alpha Limited (“TTA”) Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) under licence number 607305.
Markets.com, operated by Tradetech Markets (Australia) Pty Limited (‘TTMAU”) Holds Australian Financial Services Licence no. 424008 and is regulated in the provision of financial services by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”).
Selecting one of these regulators will display the corresponding information across the entire website. If you would like to display information for a different regulator, please select it. For more information click here.