Saturday 20 January 2018

Amazon overtakes Wal-Mart

Amazon's market capitalisation has soared to over $270bn (€245bn), overtaking Wal-Mart Stores, the world's biggest bricks-and-mortar retailer. Amazon's shares surged more than 20pc at one stage yesterday, adding more than $46bn to its market value, after strong growth in its cloud business drove a surprise quarterly profit.

Revenue from Amazon's cloud operations - Amazon Web Services (AWS) - nearly doubled in the second quarter, indicating that the business was poised to drive sustainable earnings for the online retailer, Wall Street analysts said. Operating margins at the unit jumped to 21.4pc from 7.7pc.

"Product sales are Amazon's bread, but AWS is its butter," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said in a note, raising his price target on the stock by 21pc to $700. "They delivered a pretty large profit, we expected a loss... they exercised discipline and did not invest in new consumer electronic product launches."

Irish Independent

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