Shares of e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) traded at a record high above $1,000 for the first time ever on Tuesday, a sign of strength as traditional retail struggles to stay relevant under the weight of a seismic consumer shift to online platforms.
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Up nearly 0.25% on the session and just more than 32% so far in 2017, Amazon traded as high as $1001.20 per share on Thursday. For comparison, the broader S&P 500 index has registered gains of nearly 8% so far this year. The median 12-month price target for Amazon among Wall Street analysts stands at $1,000, according to figures from Reuters, with the highest – from research firm CFRA – at $1,250.
Amazon certainly wouldn’t be the first to cross the $1,000 per share milestone: It would become the second stock in the S&P and the fifth in the U.S. to trade over that level, according to Dow Jones Market Data Group, joining a small list of other companies including Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) and Priceline (PCLN). At present, the e-commerce giant’s market capitalization (aka how much it’s is worth in the market) is among the largest, clocking in at more than $475 billion.
While the company continues to hit fresh records, it’s not done yet, as there’s plenty more upside potential, said Tuna Amobi, CFRA equity analyst, citing even more growth potential internationally, particularly in the Pan Asia region and Eastern Europe, despite growing competition.
“Amazon makes no secret it wants to be among dominant providers and we’re starting to get early signs of good traction over there,” Amobi said, adding that part of Amazon’s business model is growing new business models like breaking out into the apparel and fashion spaces – a potential opportunity for even more disruption to the already-struggling department and big-box store landscapes.
Indeed, in recent months, Walmart has engaged in a price war with Amazon as it attempts to lure customers to its platform through lower prices and special discounts for buy-online-pick-up-in-store items. At the same time, Amazon has dipped its toes back into the physical-retail world, opening on Thursday its first Fresh Pickup grocery store in Seattle and a bookstore in New York City. That brings its total brick-and-mortar store count to seven.
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“Investments in fulfilment and infrastructure have been a major reason for how they’ve built the type of customer satisfaction they have, which is a competitive advantage against Walmart, Target and other retailers that are trying to replicate that,” Amobi said. “Amazon has a decade’s head start and that’s why it’s not inconceivable shares are going to heat up. $1,000 is a nice round number milestone, but underlying catalysts speak to what we think could be more upside.”