While Amazon's (AMZN) - Get Report new brick-and-mortar outpost in Manhattan is getting all the attention, the pervasive cloud business that caters to big corporations, government offices and startups is really driving the company toward $1,000 per share.
Amazon Web Services is the "clear leader" in the public cloud service, according to a survey by Cowen & Co. that polled about 550 cloud users in March. Microsoft's (MSFT) - Get Report Azure is making strides while Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Report Google Cloud Platform, Oracle (ORCL) - Get Report Cloud, IBM (IBM) - Get Report Softlayer and others are significant players.
Shares of Amazon spiked about $4.34 per share in early morning trading, breaking the $1,000 per share threshold for the first time ever. Share were trading at $1,000.12 apiece as of 9:39 am ET.
Shares had ticked up toward the end of last week after Cowen analyst John Blackledge upped his target from $1,100 to $1,125 on the back of the behemoth cloud business. Investors were watching Friday to see if Jeff Bezos' outfit could break past that $1,000 per share mark.
While Amazon is widely recognized for having the top cloud marketshare, Cowen got feedback from cloud users about topics ranging from awareness of different brands to trends in IT spending and the migration of data workloads to the cloud.
"AWS ranked first or second in all facets of user experience," Blackledge observed.
Amazon Web Services is worth $221 billion, in Blacklege's model, or 17.5 times projected 2018 Ebitda. Amazon's e-commerce and other businesses have a $301 billion valuation, or 1.63 times projected 2018 sales. The analyst expects AWS's revenue and Ebitda to grow by 25% to 26% per year from now until 2022.
"In the past [roughly] six months alone, countless enterprises have announced plans to migrate key components (or all) of their global IT infrastructure to AWS, including Live Nation (LYV) - Get Report , Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) - Get Report , Capital One (COF) - Get Report , and HERE Technologies [backed by Intel (INTC) - Get Report , Audi, BMW and Daimler]," he wrote, in addition to a $1 billion sales contract with social media darling Snap (SNAP) - Get Report .
Micrososft uses its Microsoft Office and other apps to lure customers to its cloud service.
"Azure was viewed as the platform that customers would most likely purchase or renew going forward" with 28% of respondents citing the service, Blackledge wrote. AWS scored 22%, while 15% selected Google Cloud Platform and 10% named IBM.
Google Cloud Platform came in third in almost every category that Cowen surveyed.
"Given the size of the market/opportunity and the resources and focus [Google] is putting behind GCP, we expect further traction over time," Blackledge wrote, citing the progress that Google's cloud boss Diane Greene has made since the company acquired her enterprise application development platform Bebop Technologies in November 2015. Greene is a co-founder and former CEO of VMWare (VMW) - Get Report .
Google Cloud was among the market segments that Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat cited in a recent talk. Jim Cramer and the AAP team discussed Alphabet's ability to "balance core investments with ones on moonshot opportunities for the long term," in a recent report. Find out what they are telling their investment club members.
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