3 Reasons to Hold Amazon Stock Forever

With Amazon (AMZN) stock at all-time highs, some might think it's a smart move to cash out of this $360-billion plus e-commerce behemoth.

Sure, Amazon's shares will react to the odd market swing and will see some wild fluctuations when its earnings scorecard is released. But this e-commerce giant is just getting started. It affords not only growth but also relative safety.

Challenging the brick-and-mortar world order of Walmart (WMT) , which recently paid $3 billion to buy upstart online shopping site Jet.com, Amazon is a stock that should be a part of your long-term wealth-building strategy.

1. Sticking with the best

Amazon, which started out in the garage of founder Jeff Bezos, is the undisputed king of the global e-commerce market. According to Slice Intelligence, Amazon's share of the e-commerce market in only the U.S. is 41%. The closest competitors are Best Buy and Nordstrom (with less than 3% each). That's a pretty wide gap.

Sales at Amazon are growing -- while they fall off the cliff or remain stagnant for traditional retailers.

With offerings like Prime and same day deliveries, Amazon is becoming the Walmart on the Internet, only more efficient, faster and more user-friendly than department store chains ever were.

Annual sales are expected to clock nearly $137 billion (nearly 28% growth) or thereabouts for 2016 and then rise to over $166 billion by end of 2017.

Walmart on the other hand, is expected to show less than 1% revenue growth this year. Costco (COST) will see only a 2.7% riseTarget (TGT) should see its topline shrink by 4.5% this year. Clearly, Amazon is eating everybody's lunch and has seized momentum.

Costco is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stock here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells COST? Learn more now.

2. Beyond shopping

Amazon is famous for shopping but its repertoire of business ammo goes way beyond that. AWS or Amazon's cloud bet is already churning $10 billion a year and growing rapidly. AWS is a profitable venture.

Amazon Video is reportedly now the third largest video streaming site in North America after Netflix and Alphabet-owned YouTube, according to Sandvine data. Its downstream traffic share is moving ahead at breakneck speed.

Kindle is another business where Amazon has witnessed a great deal of traction. Fire TV set-top boxes, Dash buttons and Echo smart speakers are also building a great ecosystem.

Further, Amazon is creating an automated logistics system, which could completely change how products are shipped. Specialized robots, advanced warehouses and drones should transform shopping, adding to Amazon's margins and boosting multi-year profits.

Alphabet is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stock here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells GOOGL? Learn more now.

3. Still at a bargain

At a five-year price-to-earnings to growth (PEG) ratio of 2.64 times, Amazon shares even though are near life-highs, are cheap. Take a look at Alibaba (trades at a PEG ratio of 46.99 times) and Walmart trades at 12.18 times.

These stocks have little earnings growth to match for the valuations they receive. Amazon is expected to grow earnings per share (EPS) by more than 50% every year for the next half a decade.

Plus, Amazon is practically net debt free since its cash chest of $16.5 billion can pay most of its $17.9 billion debt. This is hardly the case with retailers, who could face the ugly prospect of default once their e-commerce plans fail.

Goldman Sachs has already set a $920 price target on Amazon. Wedbush Securities has restated an Outperform rating and also raised its price target to $835 up from $775/share.

Clearly, there's no doubting what Bezos has done: made Amazon an increasingly formidable company, now only behind Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft in terms of market cap after overthrowing ExxonMobil and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stock here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL? Learn more now.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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