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Report: Amazon (AMZN) Partners With P&G (PG) to Sell Direct to Consumers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In a push to conquer the household staples space, Amazon (AMZN) and Procter & Gamble (PG) have partnered to sell goods directly from P&G warehouses, undercutting retail competitors Wal-Mart (WMT) and Costco  (COST), The Wall Street Journal reports.

The arrangement, in practice for three years, allows Amazon to fulfill orders for products such as diapers and toilet paper without incurring transportation and storage costs while P&G boosts online sales and allows it to tap virgin markets. The partnership, under a program called Vendor Flex, could be extended to other suppliers, including Kimberley Clark (KMB).

In pre-market trading, Amazon shares have gained 0.14% to $311.14, while P&G is up 0.2% to $78.90.

At time of publication, Amazon, P&G nor Kimberley Clark had responded to requests for comment.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Amazon.com Inc as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Amazon.com Inc (AMZN) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • AMZN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 17.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.35, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Internet & Catalog Retail industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 200% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $7 million to -$7 million.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Internet & Catalog Retail industry and the overall market, Amazon.com Inc's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Procter & Gamble Co as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Procter & Gamble Co (PG) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 4.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.46, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.41 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Household Products industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, Procter & Gamble Co has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • Procter & Gamble Co's earnings per share declined by 13.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, Procter & Gamble Co increased its bottom line by earning $3.87 a share vs. $3.12 a share in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.29 vs. $3.87).

Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.

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