Amazon Inc. (AMZN) - Get Report shares traded higher Friday after analysts at Keybanc upgraded the stock to overweight, with a price target of $2,100, citing operational moves the online retail giant is making to accelerate profits.
KeyBanc analyst Edward Yruma argues Amazon is working to improve retail margins, including moves to close its 87 pop-up stores and evolving its mid-market grocery store business. Yuma also sees an "inflection point" in near-term profits from Amazon's cloud and advertising businesses, which he says could hit a combined $100 billion in sales by 2022. Yruma also adds his name to the list of all 45 Wall Street analysts followed by FactSet that have assigned either "buy" or "overweight" ratings on Amazon.
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"Amazon is pivoting to a company with accelerating profitability," Yruma wrote. "In addition to $5 billion in incremental retail profitability, growth and margins remain very strong in the combined (Amazon Web Services) and advertising businesses. Amazon is (also) taking a number of operational moves to improve profitability in core retail, which could drive mid-term earnings above the current consensus view."
Amazon shares were marked 1.09% higher in the opening minutes of trading, outpacing the 0.38% gain for the broader S&P 500, and changing hands at $1,704.04 each, extending its year-to-date gain to around 10.7%.