Every so often, analysts seem to get in a sort of bidding war or “mine’s bigger than yours” price target battle on a stock, and this now seems to be the case with Amazon. The euphoria around the company continues with two fresh $1,000 price targets on the e-commerce giant’s stock. All week long, Wall Street couldn’t stop talking about Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) (worse than usual it seems), and this isn’t even the week of earnings!
Amazon stock price target upped for survey results
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney and team said in a report dated September 15 that they’ve raised their price target for the stock from $840 to a nice round $1,000 per share, declaring, “AMZN’s fundamentals have NEVER been stronger in our view.”
Citing their Fourth Annual Online Consumer Survey, they report that 89% of participants chose Amazon when asked which retail site they use most. This was a modest widening of the gap with second-place eBay.
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Further, 85% said they are “extremely” or “very satisfied, which resulted in higher purchase frequencies.
They report that 47% of the survey participants make purchases at least two or three times per month.
They also found a nine-point increase in U.S. Prime adoption, which brought the rate to 49%. The RBC pegs the number of U.S. Prime subscribers at around 60 million and global subscribers at around 100 million or possibly even more.
Further, they report that Prime subscribers have become even more loyal, indicating that the “flywheel” is “spinning faster.” Seventy-six percent said they use Amazon more now than they did when they first signed up. That’s an increase of one point from last year.
The RBC team also reported signs of dominance in Germany, where 85% of survey participants chose Amazon and more than 90% are “extremely” or “very” satisfied. The company was 24 points above second-place eBay in the country. It was in second place in Japan with a 62% response rate but only trailing first-place Rakuten by two points. Also Prime penetration in Germany and Japan was also very robust at 28% and 19%, respectively. While these numbers apply to the retail segment rather than streaming, they’re an important sign of strength in foreign markets, as some analysts have questioned whether the company can make it outside the U.S.
Applause for Amazon’s Alexa
Mahaney and team also praised the company’s Alexa, is voice assistance platform which is based on artificial intelligence. Their survey indicated that 33% of shoppers are aware of Alexa, while 6% own the Alexa-based Echo device. This implies that the online retailer has sold about 7 million of the devices. Also the number of third-party apps has tripled since June, hitting 3,000, they report. They add that Alexa might be stimulating incremental demand as well because 26% of Alexa device owners said they use it to purchase items “very” or “somewhat often.”
Indeed, data from NPD backs up this view of Alexa’s importance, as he firm found recently that owners of the Echo speaker spent about 10% more after they bought the device compared to how much they spent before. The firm also found a 6% increase in the number of purchases made by owners of the device on Amazon’s website.
An even higher price target for Amazon stock
Not to be outdone, Evercore ISI analysts have slapped a target of $1,015 per share, up from $930, on the stock. They cited the company’s “potential to leverage Cloud automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence across varying aspects of its Retail business and the potential cost and capital efficiencies this stands to deliver.”
Analyst Ken Sena and team believes these aspects are underappreciated, especially as they relate to Alexa and how AI and machine learning play a role beyond what they do for Amazon Web Services. Specifically, they think it’s important to highlight how these technologies are applied to the company’s retail business.
The main impacts will be on automation, which in turn will improve the customer experience, they believe. They note that the company has been spending big on everything from last-mile delivery services to air or ocean freight operations. Combining automated vehicles and drones with the retail operations creates an exciting proposition, they feel.
Shares of Amazon stock closed up 1.15% at $778.52 per share on Friday.