Tech giant Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report could be sitting on a valuable asset in its Amazon Web Services cloud business, according to former Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report CEO John Sculley.
"'If you were to break AWS out as an independant company now, they would be the largest cloud company and be worth a $100 billion," Sculley told TheStreet.
Sculley, who is an investor in several startup cloud companies such as pharmacy benefit manager RxAdvance, added, "You have to have incredible respect for what Jeff Bezos has done with Amazon Web Services, that business didn't exist six and a half years ago -- you see everyone racing to catch up with Amazon, whether it's Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report , [Alphabet] (GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class C Report or IBM (IBM) - Get International Business Machines (IBM) Report -- so huge success story for Amazon here."
Given Amazon's start to the year at AWS, Sculley's valuation math doesn't seem too far-fetched. Amazon's cloud business raked in $2.6 billion in revenue during the first quarter, representing 64% growth from the prior year. The segment's operating income, excluding stock-based compensation, tallied $716 million in the first quarter, up significantly from $265 million during the year-ago quarter.
Over the past four quarters, AWS has generated $8.9 billion in revenue for Amazon -- on a call with analysts April 28, Amazon execs said the business is on track to pull in $10 billion in sales this year.
In large part, the growth of AWS is being spurred by Amazon's aggressive investment in expanding cloud-based services for small and large-sized businesses. Amazon said it introduced 214 new features and services during the first-quarter, up from 170 new features and services unveiled a year ago. Last year saw 722 new significant features to AWS, said Amazon. Wall Street is also bullish on AWS.
"We believe the recent disclosure of AWS performance shows segment profitability that exceeded virtually all expectations [in the first quarter], and high AWS profitability gives us increased confidence in the business and also drives a meaningful increase in our sum-of-the-parts valuation," said J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth in an April 29 note. Anmuth rates shares of Amazon at overweight, or the equivalent of a buy rating.
Sculley isn't just keen on Amazon's cloud business. "I am a big fan of echo, and think it will become bigger and bigger now that they have opened up the platform," said Sculley. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.