Amazon Earnings Preview: Price Target Upped Pre-Print

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Analysts are debating just how much foreign currency headwinds will affect Amazon’s next earnings report

Amazon is scheduled to release its next earnings report on Thursday after closing bell, and analysts from  more than one firm have upped their price target for the company ahead of the print. As with all major U.S.-based companies operating internationally, Amazon will also be affected by the strengthening of the U.S. dollar.

As a result, there’s a debate on just how bad the effect was during the December quarter.

Goldman Sachs ups price target for Amazon

In a report dated Jan. 27, Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry and his team said they bumped up their price target for Amazon from $360 to $400 per share. They did that because they expanded their multiple from 11 times estimated 2015 EV / EBITDA to 12 times. Multiple expansion across the sector drove their expansion of Amazon’s multiple.

The Goldman Sachs team expects Amazon to post $29.8 billion in revenue, which is only slightly ahead of the consensus estimate of $29.7 billion. They’re expecting $227 million in GAAP operating income, compared to the consensus estimate of $188 million.

The reason their income estimate is so far ahead of the consensus is because they think the e-commerce giant’s infrastructure investments resulted in faster fulfillment. And as Amazon fulfilled orders faster, they think it increased its share of spending later into the holiday quarter, drawing from both offline and online spending and resulting in faster revenue growth.

The impact of FX on Amazon

In a report dated Jan. 28, Bernstein analysts Carlos Kirjner, Andrea Rosso and Ben Betcher weighed the potential impact of currency exchange headwinds on Amazon and other major companies. They pointed out that many companies have missed estimates because of his very issue because many analysts have not included this negative impact in their estimates.

They estimate that at least half of the currency headwind isn’t factored into consensus estimates for companies operating internationally. The Bernstein team actually thinks Amazon’s estimates are the least affected by currency issues because they are more recent. On the other side, they think Twitter (which is scheduled to report on or around Feb. 5) is the most exposed, followed by Facebook, which reports on Wednesday, and Google, which reports on Thursday along with Amazon.

The Bernstein team has an Outperform rating and $450 per share price target on Amazon.

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