Amazon.com Inc.'s stock climbed 1% in premarket trade Wednesday, after Stifel Nicolaus upgraded the e-commerce giant, saying the company has emerged from its extensive and extended investment cycle as a "bigger, stronger, faster company" than anticipated. Analyst Scott Devitt raised his rating to buy from hold and set his stock price target at $700, which is 33% above Tuesday's closing price of $526.03. He said second-quarter results announced last week were "game changing," as the company demonstrated revenue acceleration, better-than-expected results in its web services business and margin expansion internationally. "Amazon's most recent quarterly results were the third consecutive display of more disciplined and focused operating results and the first that showed improvements in growth across each of its business," Devitt wrote in a note to clients. "We missed the turn in the cycle this time but believe the runway is long from here." The stock has soared 70% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.7%.
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