Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) may have a lending partnership in the works, according to a report by CNBC, in which the two would provide loans to merchants, according to sources.
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When asked about the report Dennis Gartman, editor and publisher of “The Gartman Letter”, warned that the e-commerce behemoth -- which has continued a steady line of acquisition in the past year as its stock value continues to rise -- may be overextending its presence.
“Amazon has done a wonderful, magnificent, stupendous job,” Gartman told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.” “But the fact that they’re getting into banking, doesn’t that seem to be getting over just one ski a bit too far? I think that’s an extension that probably should’ve just been avoided.”
To be clear, the tech giant is not a public lender, like a bank, but does have Amazon Lending, a private, invite-only program to businesses selling on Amazon. The unit is there to help small businesses, of which all are sellers on Amazon.
Amazon did not comment on the CNBC report.
Since Bezos founded the company in 1994, Amazon has continued to expand its reach beyond online retail.
In June, the company announced it would acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. And in early February, Bezos teamed up with Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK) to announce a venture to reduce healthcare costs for employees. Bezos also owns The Washington Post.
Amazon is currently trading close to $1,450 per share and has a market cap of more than $702 billion. On Wednesday, the company exceeded Microsoft to become the company with the third-largest market cap, trailing only Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG).
Gartman said he’s leery of investing in Amazon as it continues to expand. He compared the company to conglomerates in the 1960s and 1970s that grew rapidly until rising interest rates triggered a major market sell-off.
“I’m not a buyer of Amazon,” he said. “I admire what [Jeff Bezos] has been able to do. But when you start going into extraneous business, when you expand your brand beyond what your brand really was, I think you start to give yourself problems. Stick to your knitting.”