Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock continues to shoot higher in early trades on Monday, continuing the dramatic uptrend that carried it past $1,500 for the first time last week. The company’s market cap now stands at about $734.66 billion, keeping it far behind Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in terms of valuation, but if Amazon stock keeps the momentum going, it could beat Apple to a $1 trillion valuation.
This is certainly one race analysts will be watching closely, and GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives expects Amazon to reach a $1 trillion valuation within the next 12 to 18 months. Other analysts have suggested that Apple could reach that milestone this year at some point. All it would take for the online retailer to beat the iPhone maker is for Apple stock to stumble for an extended period while Amazon stock continues to soar.
Ives warned that Amazon stock could struggle in the near term as several impacts weigh on its margins. The company has been investing heavily in fulfillment, Prime, Amazon Web Services, the Whole Foods integration, and its Echo and Alexa products. However, Ives feel that this “near-term pain” will eventually pay off.
He sees a chance for Amazon to “double down on its consumer and enterprise initiatives” this year, driving major growth and cash flow in future years. Meanwhile, the online retailer continues to diversify its offerings around the globe, and Ives looks for “major margin expansion” starting start year.
Ives feels that Amazon is already worth nearly $1 trillion, as he values the retail segment at between $600 billion and $650 billion and the cloud business at $300 billion to $350 billion. He estimates that the company will capture about half of all the online spending in the U.S. next year, while he estimates a 44% of online ad dollars for last year. The GBH analyst estimates that Amazon has more than 90 million Prime subscribers now and calls growth in Prime memberships “the key jewel for Amazon going forward.”
He maintained his Highly Attractive rating and boosted his price target for Amazon stock from $1,500 to $1,850. Given that many analysts’ price targets are now underwater or close to underwater, it’s likely that the company will receive additional price target increases in the near future.
Because of the tremendous run in Amazon stock, many investors may be staying away because of concerns that further upside is limited at current levels. However, some analysts expect even faster gains from the stock this year. Wolfe Research analysts expect it to touch $2,000 by the end of the year, especially if the Amazon Go grocery store business takes off.
Ives was more focused on the Whole Foods integration, which he sees bringing synergies and tailwinds for this year and next. He noted that Amazon and Whole Foods already share customers, so it should be easy for either of them to convince the customers they don’t have in common to try the other.
Amazon stock climbed by more than 1% to as high as $1,522.84 in intraday trading today, touching yet another record high.