Amazon Could Be Worth US$3 Trillion in Three Years, Analyst Says
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Amazon Could Be Worth US$3 Trillion in Three Years, Analyst Says

Amazon is going to get bigger—maybe a lot bigger.

By ERIC J. SAVITZ
Wed, Apr 14, 2021 11:45amGrey Clock 2 min

In a research note on Tuesday, Jefferies analyst Brent Thill lays out a case that Amazon (Ticker: AMZN) can reach US$5,700 a share over the next three years, a potential 70% gain that would boost the company’s valuation to nearly US$3 trillion.

Thill, who maintains a Buy rating on Amazon shares with a current price target of $4,000, notes that the stock has been stuck in neutral since last August, but thinks the stock will outperform again when the market gets clarity on the direction of the core retail business. He cautions that overall revenue growth will be a key driver of stock performance and that the shares could be range-bound until moving past what he warns will be a tough June quarter comparison. But for the long haul, he’s all in.

The analyst asserts that Amazon Web Services is the company’s most valuable business, and one that is well-positioned for further strong growth. He thinks AWS could be worth $1.2 trillion in three years, as more corporate computing workloads shift to the cloud. (Barron’s notes there are only four companies with market caps higher than that: Amazon itself, Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet.)

In a finding that could surprise some investors, Thill thinks the company’s advertising business could be worth more than $600 billion in three years. “As Amazon becomes an increasingly important channel for [consumer-packaged goods] companies, we believe a portion of their spending will shift toward search and product placement,” he writes. “In addition, we think Amazon has the opportunity to expand advertising further in international and new channels like Prime Video.”

As for the core retail business, the analyst estimates the value three years out at US$1 trillion, about US$700 billion of that for the third-party seller business. “[Amazon] Prime adoption and a broader shift to e-commerce have driven an acceleration in growth,” he writes. “We believe the length of the pandemic has served to engrain consumers’ increased reliance on e-commerce.”

Thill is careful to say that his sum-of-the-parts analysis is simply illustrative and doesn’t reflect his official price target. But he adds that viewing Amazon over a longer time period “helps provide perspective in the face of near-term disruptions/volatility from the pandemic.” He also thinks Amazon’s discount to its underlying asset value can narrow over time. And Thill points out that he is not including any value for its new healthcare business, which he notes is addressing a $350 billion U.S. market.

Amazon closed Tuesday at US$3,399.92, up 0.6%.

Reprinted by permission of Barron’s. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: April 13, 2021.

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