When your company is flirting with a $1 billion valuation, drama is almost guaranteed.
Most eyes have been focused on Apple Inc. as the first American company to hit $1 billion territory. But Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has had a much more sordid bit of drama chasing it for the past several months.
Specifically, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been embroiled in divorce proceedings with wife, Mackenzie.
Typically, divorce proceedings have little impact on a company’s stock. But the Bezoses projected themselves “as real partners in this marriage and the building of their assets,” divorce lawyer Emily Pollock recently told Cheddar.
This solidarity in business decisions left many Amazon investors worried about the company’s future. Furthermore, the situation was growing more heated with the National Enquirer leak of private (and reportedly racy) texts between Jeff and his girlfriend.
It was an added bit of drama that AMZN stock didn’t need. Amazon was already facing concerns about a global economic slowdown, rising competition for its streaming services, a U.S.-China trade war and fears of a recession in the U.S.
Luckily for Amazon, the divorce drama has finally settled down. MacKenzie Bezos is leaving with a quarter of the couple’s AMZN stock — valued at $36 billion. Jeff Bezos, meanwhile, maintains voting rights, leaving control of Amazon in his hands.
With one less thing to worry about now, analysts have taken to the Street to project big things for Amazon. For instance, Doug Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners Management, just dropped a bullish bomb on AMZN stock.
According to Kass, AMZN stock will hit $3,000 per share by 2021 and $5,000 per share by 2025. That’s about 175% upside from current levels.
How will AMZN stock get there? Kass believes that Amazon earnings will beat forecasts by 10% or more for the next three years.
“In the annals of U.S. corporate history there is no company that has as large and lengthy runway of opportunity as Amazon.com,” says Kass.
There is a contrarian case for AMZN stock’s growth. Looking at full-year growth forecasts, Amazon is currently a “dog” of FAANG companies. Analysts project revenue growth of just 18.1% next year for the online retailing giant.
- Netflix’s projected revenue growth is 28% (despite major competition rising from Disney).
- Facebook’s projected revenue growth is 23.5% (despite risks of government regulation).
- Alphabet’s (Google) projected revenue growth is 19.5% (also despite risks of regulation).
- Apple’s projected revenue growth is minus-4% (iPhone sales just aren’t what they used to be).
Barring Apple, which has glaring concerns, Amazon is at the bottom of the list.
Love it or hate it, Amazon continues to disrupt the retail market in a major way — decades after it’s arrival on the scene. And it will continue to do so because its competitors have yet to figure out how to adequately compete in the online market.
Furthermore, Amazon has streaming services and Amazon Web Services, which are just “icing on the cake” as Kass puts it.