By now, I think it’s safe to say that Jim Cramer was dead wrong.
And I was right on the money.
Here’s the thing. I remember very clearly the day that Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) crossed the $1,000 mark on May 31, 2017.
Cramer, the host of CNBC’s Mad Money looked at the price and slammed it. He said that “psychologically” $1,000 is a lot to pay for a stock he felt was getting ahead of itself.
As the saying goes, that was then and this is now.
No doubt, the tech leader hit a rough patch late last year with the rest of the market. And it has come under fire recently as part of the Big Tech backlash.
Yet, below-expected earnings reports for Q2 and Q3 of this year could only pull Amazon down into the $1,700 range, still far above what Cramer was worrying about.
Not only that, but the “King of E-commerce” is well positioned for another historic moment. It’s roughly 15% away from having a $1 trillion market cap, and most of that would just be regaining lost ground
And today, you’ll see why I still firmly believe the stock will hit at least $3,000 a share – and likely much, much more than that…
Tracking Impressive Gains
At its current rate of advance, Amazon is close to being one of the more elite stocks of all time. Among big tech leaders, only Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) have a $1 trillion valuation..
If you have any doubts about whether Amazon is the kind of stock you can count on for the long haul, just look at the facts.
Over the past five years, it’s made gains of 568%, and crushed the broader market by an astounding 1,000%!
I’m bringing up the five-year track record for a very good reason. See, I predicted back on Oct. 30, 2013 that the pioneer of cloud hosting would hit $1,000.
And a lot of folks in the financial media found that prediction just plain crazy.
So, when I say that Amazon is destined to hit $3,000 a share, I believe I have both the empirical data, and the credibility to make that claim.
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Making a Bold Claim
Make no mistake. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos just never quits looking for ways to add more growth. The idea is simple: continue to build investor value with high-margin growth that juices up the earnings per share.
Here are four examples of just what I’m talking about.
- Last February, it was the lead investor in electric-truck maker Rivian.
- It was also among the lead investors in a recent $530 million financing for Aurora Innovation, a self-driving auto startup.
- The firm invested just shy of $1 billion last year for PillPack, moving in into the online-pharmacy business.
- In April, we learned it wants to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites to beam down broadband web access to much of the world.
Those kinds of deal don’t generate the type of heavy buzz Amazon got when it bought upscale grocery leader Whole Foods in 2017. At a cool $13.4 billion, the price tag stood out.
But it’s the quiet moves that often have made this such a well-run firm.
The Undisputed Online Shopping Leader
It’s hard to believe in retrospect just what a big deal Bezos created with the 1-Click feature on Sept. 12, 1997 was. That tech breakthrough helped Amazon pull away from a crowded online shopping field to become the undisputed leader.
Today, there are literally hundreds of thousands of goods you can buy through the portal. And Bezos was savvy in the way he kept adding more third-party merchants who could sell through the store.
Consider that Amazon now has more than 2 million vendors who use its store front. Of those, some 100,000 each sold $100,000 worth of goods in 2018 alone. That’s a total of $10 billion in gross sales for only the top 5% of those third-party sellers.
Let’s not forget the firm’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) is nothing short of a cloud-hosting juggernaut. It quietly launched in 2002 as a simple add-on service making good use of its racks of servers.
Today, it remains the clear hosting leader. In the most recent quarter, AWS had sales of roughly $9 billion. That’s about nine times the revenue in the comparable quarter five years ago.
Meantime, Amazon has moved into smart speakers. Its Alexa is considered state of the art in AI-driven home systems.
The firm also has jumped into online streaming. It has competitive offerings in both music and on-demand video, with the latter delivering it three Oscars.
Meantime, the company is a marvel of logistics. It has invested billions in cutting-edge robotics, software and automation, not to mention having its own fleet of delivery vehicles.
This is why Prime member can now get same-day delivery for hundreds of products.
Now then, the company reported earnings on October 24, and the results were disappointing to most market watchers, but not to me.
You see, last time I looked at Amazon’s long term outlook, I mentioned that I was hoping for just this kind of disappointing earnings report. Amazon’s price would fall, and we would have the chance to buy at a discount from the stock’s amazing trajectory to $3,000 and beyond.
And that’s exactly what happened. Amazon missed their earnings forecast for the past two quarters, and that has sent their stock down to a bargain price in the $1,700 range. It’s a dip that can save us money, but that won’t really mean anything for Amazon’s long term growth prospects.
Consider this: for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018, Amazon has grown its earnings per share by roughly 99%. That’s a run rate of doubling roughly every 10 months.
But let’s take a more conservative approach and cut that figure back by two-thirds.
We’d still see the per-share profits doubling in just a tad over two years. Even if we double the period to be extra conservative, we’re looking at 100% gains in less than five years.
Now you know why I believe my $3,000 price tag is once again on the money.
In other words, this mega-cap stock is the kind you can count on for the long haul.
And that makes it a great foundational holding in a winning tech portfolio.
Cheers and good investing,
Michael A. Robinson