Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has received a major price target increase from analysts at Stifel Nicolaus. The firm has reiterated its Buy rating on AMZN and lifted its target to $1425 from $1313. The new price target reflects an approximately 14% upside from current levels.
Stifel has given a bullish outlook for voice-enabled smart speakers for the move, along with expectations for very strong fourth quarter results. The firm expects AMZN would report strong eCommerce holiday sales, continued the momentum in Prime membership adoption, and ongoing strength in Amazon Web Services (AWS) when the company will deliver earnings results on February 1st, 2018.
Moreover, Stifel has raised its 2018 and long-term earnings estimates, seeing the eCommerce sales momentum, a strong consumer backdrop, continued traditional retail dislocation, and growing Prime member base. The firm said that AMZN is the leader in two large rapidly growing markets (eCommerce and Cloud), and is investing in areas with significant upside potential including Echo, grocery, video, advertising, and emerging geographies.
Additionally, for the fourth quarter, AMZN expects net sales to be between $56.0 billion and $60.5 billion, or to grow between 28% and 38% compared with fourth quarter 2016. The fourth quarter guidance includes approximately 1,000 basis points of impact to the year-over-year growth rate from Whole Foods Market. The guidance also projects a favorable impact of approximately $1.2 billion or 270 basis points from foreign exchange rates. Further, the operating income in the fourth quarter is expected to be between $300 million and $1.65 billion, compared with $1.3 billion in fourth quarter 2016.
Furthermore, in the third quarter, the group had posted 34% growth in the net sales to $43.7 billion, compared with $32.7 billion in third quarter 2016. This included $1.3 billion from Whole Foods Market, which AMZN acquired on August 28, 2017. Adjusted net sales increased 29% compared with third quarter 2016. Overall, in the third quarter, the net income was $256 million compared with net income of $252 million, in third quarter 2016.
Meanwhile, recently AMZN has launched five new Alexa-enabled devices, has introduced Alexa in India, announced the integration with BMW, surpassed 25,000 skills, integrated Alexa with Sonos speakers, taught Alexa to distinguish between two voices, and more.
AMZN stock has risen 60.39% in a year (source: Google Finance).