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Amazon earnings

 

Amazon stock climbs higher after earnings, AI investments in focus 

Amazon shares surged by over 8% on Friday, after the company beat market expectations in its earnings report on Thursday. The AMZN share price was further supported by bullish comments around the company’s forays into artificial intelligence. 

During the earnings call, CEO Andy Jassy emphasized the enormous potential of AI, stating that it represents an opportunity worth "tens of billions" for Amazon's cloud business, Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS recently introduced its Bedrock AI service, which simplifies the development of large language models. 

“Our generative AI business is growing very, very quickly”, Jassy said on the call. 

In September, Amazon invested $1.25 billion in Anthropic, a competitor of Microsoft-backed AI startup OpenAI. The investment could go up to $4 billion over time, as per a report by Yahoo Finance reporter Alexandra Garfinkle. 

 

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Amazon cloud business: AI could drive AWS growth 

AI has the potential to drive the growth that AWS is seeking. In Q3 2023, the division fell slightly short of analysts' expectations for net sales, recording $23.06 billion compared to the $23.13 billion anticipated by Wall Street.  

However, there were positive aspects to the report, with AWS sales showing a 12% year-over-year increase, with the division's operating income also seeing an upswing, reaching $7 billion — roughly a 29% rise from the previous year. Jefferies analyst Brent Thill mentioned that the 12% growth was "sufficient to maintain positive performance." 

Jassy’s comments are notable given this week’s results in the cloud industry. On Tuesday, Microsoft reported better-than-expected growth in its Azure cloud business, while Alphabet's cloud growth figures disappointed. 

AWS growth has been under close scrutiny this year. The subject has been "getting the most airtime with investors," Yahoo Finance cited JPMorgan's Doug Anmuth as saying before the earnings report. 

 

Amazon earnings: A run-down of the key figures 

Amazon reported the following key figures, as compared to Bloomberg analysts' estimates: 

  • Net sales: $143.08 billion (actual) vs. $141.56 billion (expected) 
  • AWS net sales: $23.06 billion (actual) vs. $23.13 billion (expected) 
  • Earnings per share: $0.94 (actual) vs. $0.58 (expected) 
  • Operating margin: 7.8% (actual), versus 5.46% (expected) 
  • Q4 net sales: $160-167 (actual) actual vs. $166.57 billion (expected) 

 

Amazon stock price forecast: Analysts bullish on e-commerce giant 

Amazon stock is currently rated as a Strong Buy, based on 43 analysts surveyed by industry website TipRanks. According to the website, the consensus AMZN stock price stands at $175.81 — a potential 35.79% upside. 42 analysts rated the stock as a Buy, with only one assigning it a Hold. 

Analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance indicate 63 Buys, two Holds, and zero Sells. 

According to a comment from Wedbush analyst Scott Devitt issued before the earnings call, Amazon’s operating margins could provide some insight into the firm’s share price returns: 

"We analyzed ten years of historical data and identified all periods when Amazon’s operating margin either increased or decreased on a basis for two or more consecutive quarters. We then compared share price returns during those periods, and found that on average, Amazon shares have appreciated 84% when operating margins are rising versus just 1% when operating margins are declining." 

At the time of writing on Friday, Amazon stock was trading at $129.34, up close to $10 and 8.23% on the day, as per MarketWatch data. 

When considering shares for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss.  

Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be construed to be investment advice. 

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