Amazon Flywheel Moving at Full Speed
Amazon has reached a $1 trillion market cap for two reasons. First, the company has a relentless focus on “delighting the customer.” Second, Jeff Bezos has investor support to run Amazon for the long-term at the cost of near-term profitability, allowing the company to explore new disruptable markets.
- Retail. Over the past 11 years, unit growth has averaged 31% y/y and will likely finish slightly above 20% in CY18. This is evidence that the Amazon flywheel is moving at full speed. The company still has a massive opportunity to capture consumer wallet share over the next 10 years. They’ll do this by increasing online retail selection and delivery speed through improved logistics and by expanding into grocery, healthcare, video, gaming, and brick and mortar retail.
- AWS is riding two waves: the secular shift to corporate cloud and increased defensibility as developers standardize on the platform.
- Advertising has been a surprising piece of the story in the past year, now an $8B, highly profitable business, growing at ~50%.
- The Stock. Revenue (growing at an average of 28% for the past 10 years, and expected to grow at 20-30% for the next several) is not a problem. The biggest wild card for AMZN shares over the next 1-2 years is investors’ willingness to accept depressed profitability. While this could weigh on shares in the near-term, we are believers in the Amazon story longer-term (3+ years).
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