- Despite not hitting earnings estimates in its most recent quarter, Amazon is still growing meaningfully by investing heavily in its future.
- With Amazon Prime ever improving, along with its recent launch in China, the flagship product will go from strength to strength.
- I still maintain, "Amazon Logistics" will better the bottom line meaningfully once it achieves economies of scale.
Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) latest set of earnings results exemplify how future revenue and earnings growth are priced into stocks. The company reported an EPS of $0.52 on revenues of $32.7 billion which resulted in the stock selling off approximately 5%, to eventually settle at $776 a share on the 28th of October. However, if we put aside analysts expectations for a moment and concentrate on the numbers, it is easy to see that this company is still in a strong growth phase. Here are 3 reasons why I would consider buying into AMZN stock post Q3 earnings.
We saw this again in the third quarter, as higher fulfilment expenses crippled operating margins (1.8%) this time round. Therefore, due to practically all the gross income being invested back into operations, investors should concentrate on revenue, gross income and gross margin growth in order to get a better idea of where this company is going. Therefore in the company's third quarter of 2015, its gross margin came in at just under 34%. In the same quarter this year, the gross margin came in at 35%. Is this reason for concern? I don't think so.
Furthermore, Wall Street also decided to punish the stock because of the management's comments about investment remaining elevated, especially when opportunities arise. This is not what the street wants, as financial metrics become increasingly more unpredictable when a company behaves like this. However, here is where you have to back the CEO Jeff Bezos and his record to date. Bezos doesn't want to create a shareholder-friendly company that pays out hard earned earnings as dividends every year. What he wants is world domination through increasing market share in every market he operates in. My recommendation is to stay long this stock and buy on pullbacks. Here are three strong reasons why.
Third Party Sales Growth Continues Its Upward Trajectory
What will drive this company forward will be the growth rates of its strategic divisions. For example, third party sales grew at a 40%+ compounded annual growth rate over the past few years. These sales are highly profitable for Amazon due to not having the usual logistics constraints associated with regular marketplace sales. This division now makes up 50% of total sales and continues to go from strength to strength. Third party sellers growth has resulted in the goods (both physical and digital) growing at a 33% compounded annual clip. This is also definitely due to the growth in the company's flagship product "Amazon Prime"
Prime Continues To Entice New Subscribers
Speaking of Prime, Amazon launched its flagship in China recently, which is exciting, considering the huge potential there for market share gain. Prime in the US has been a major success, with 20% of all US adults currently shelling out money for a prime subscription. Prime is intelligently set up to entice subscribers to repeatedly spend more. We can see this in the numbers, with the average Prime member spend being around $1,500 a year, which is well over twice the spend of non-Prime members. Bezos will continue to improve this service either by including services like a smaller version of its music streaming service or offering the full monthly "Amazon Music Unlimited" for a discounted price of $8 per month. Therefore, you can have all that prime has to offer or avail of discounted services like Amazon Fresh for $14.99 per month. This really is the kicker that bears are missing. Amazon will continue to expand Prime by adding more services or subsidizing new ones. The new unlimited streaming offering, for example, at $8 a month is exceptional value and beats everything in the market at present, in terms of usability and value. This is only the start.
Watch Amazon Logistics Closely
The only real area that Amazon has no control over is shipping costs, which have been rising steadily over the past few years. In fact, in the company's latest quarter, shipping costs as a percentage of revenue rose to over 13% which could be viewed as worrying, when compared to 8.6% in Q1 of 2013. Here the company has an excellent chance of improving its margins even more with the progression of "Amazon Logistics". Why? Because the company wants to increase its fleet of 10 airplanes over time to 40, and with good reason. Wages for truckers and pilots have grown substantially in the US, and shipping costs are projected to increase. Therefore, once Amazon can achieve economies of scale, the present 13%+ number should come down, which will do wonders for the company's margins over time.
Investors need to think of the long-term vision of Jeff Bezos and not get distracted by current investment levels. the company will continue to use its gross profits to invest heavily in areas where it feels it will get a return. Economies of scale is the big advantage I see coming for Amazon. As the company gets bigger and bigger, its costs will come down which should mean even more capital being available for investment in the years to come. For all the reasons discussed above, I think that AMZN stock is attractive right now. Evaluating tech stocks? Amigobulls' top technology stock picks have beaten the NASDAQ by over 112%.