Shares of Amazon briefly eclipsed the $1,000 a share mark on Tuesday for the first time. Amazon saw its stock end the week at $1,006.73, giving it a market cap of $481.2 billion.
Amazon's stock has surged 34% year to date, torching the Nasdaq Composite's 17% gain. In large part, the bullishness on Amazon is being fueled by its disruption of industries from bricks-and-mortar retail to cloud computing. As it stands, that disruption could likely keep Amazon's stock red-hot for as far as the eyes could see.
"Amazon is likely to be one of the first trillion-dollar market cap companies; it's just a question of when, not if, in our view," Barclays analyst Ross Sandler wrote recently. "The retail business has a considerable moat, and the Prime flywheel and logistics and automation are just getting going," said Sandler, who also struck a bullish tone on the prospects for Amazon's cloud computing business. Sandler has a $1,120 price target on Amazon.
Notes such as Sandler's shouldn't come as a shock.
"We think the primary reason for recent outperformance of Amazon shares is related to the significant outperformance vs. retail peers, heightened concerns about the long-term opportunity and margin structure for traditional retailers and Amazon's efforts/ambitions to expand into adjacent categories (groceries, automotive parts, furniture, etc.)," says MKM Partners analyst Rob Sanderson.
So far this year Wall Street has seen bankruptcy filings from mall staples such as women's apparel retailer BCBG and RadioShack successor General Wireless Operations Inc. Struggling appliances, electronics and furniture retailer HHGregg has gone bust, too.
In the eyes of the market, Amazon is clearly the dominant force in retail -- and possibly the cloud -- over the next five years.
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Editor's Pick: Originally published May 30.