Analysts at Raymond James Research expect Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) to report solid revenues for the first quarter of 2013 saying that the performance of the e-commerce giant will be driven by its better operating leverage.
The research firm also said that based on its historical analysis, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s operating income guidance is proven overly conservative. Although Raymond James Research has a positive first quarter outlook for the company, the research firmed maintained its market perform rating for the stock based on its current premium valuation levels at 53x 2014 non-GAAP EPS.
For the first quarter, the research firm expected Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) to report $16.29 billion net sales, slightly higher than the consensus estimate of $16.17 billion. The upper-end guidance for the company is in the range of $15 to $16.6 billion.
Raymond James analysts estimated that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will achieve a 24 percent y/y sales growth in North America and 24 percent y/y forex neutral sales growth. They projected that the company will deliver $373 million non-GAAP operating income compared with the $350 million guidance.
The analysts projected that the company will post $0.47 earnings per share, lower than the consensus estimate of $0.53 earnings per share. The analysts said, “We believe operating income guidance for 1Q is fairly conservative- the high end of guidance suggest 48 percent q/q decline vs. an 18 percent average decline over the past six years from 4Q to 1Q.”
Raymond James Research analysts also noted that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s growth rate is still two times higher than the overall e-commerce growth rate despite the fact that its same store sales declined from 38.5 percent y/y in the fourth quarter to32.2 percent y/y in the first quarter.
The analysts also projected that foreign exchange headwinds could impact Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s revenue in the second quarter by ~2 percent due to its significant exposure in Germany, United Kingdom, and Japan. These countries represent 33 percent, 25 percent, and 30 percent of its international revenues last year, respectively. The euro, pound, and yen declined by 2 percent, 3.5 percent, and 9.5 percent respectively since the company 4Q earnings result.
According to the analysts, “We estimated that, combined, the forex weakness will result in a 4.5 percent negative impact to international revenues in 2Q, 2 percent overall revenue impact. We expect to adjust our model post earnings for forex changes.”