Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock just delivered the equivalent of a mic drop with the e-commerce company’s third-quarter financial results. After spending the past 18 months right sizing the ship, Amazon looks to be in a position of strength and ready to resume its dominant position among mega-cap technology concerns.
Up nearly 50% on the year, including a 7% gain after the Q3 print, AMZN stock has trailed that of other major tech companies such as Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META), up 138%, and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), up 183%. However, that now looks likely to change as Amazon powers ahead.
Refocusing the Business
Amazon exited the Covid-19 pandemic bloated and overextended. As online shopping pulled back, Amazon was left with too many staff, too many fulfillment centers, and too much inventory. The company had to get lean fast. To Jassy’s credit, Amazon undertook the difficult decisions that were needed to streamline the business and get it back on track. The company eliminated 27,000 staff positions, closed dozens of fulfillment centers, and put several construction projects on hold, including the building of a second headquarters outside Washington, D.C.
Now, after several disappointing quarters, Amazon appears to be refocused and firing on all cylinders again. Analysts and investors cheered the company’s recent Q3 print. Seattle-based Amazon reported earnings per share (EPS) of 94 cents compared to 58 cents that had been expected on Wall Street. Revenue came in at $143.1 billion compared to $141.4 billion that was anticipated. Equally pleasing was news that cloud-computing unit Amazon Web Services (AWS) posted sales of $23.1 billion, matching expectations, while advertising revenue totaled $12.1 billion compared to $11.6 billion that was forecast.
Revenue in the July through September quarter rose 13% driven by an acceleration in the company’s e-commerce sales, digital advertising revenue increased 26% from a year earlier, outpacing rival Meta Platforms’ Q3 ad growth of 23%, and AWS saw growth in the quarter of 12%. The cost cutting measures have boosted the company’s profit margins, with Amazon reporting an operating margin of 7.8%, the highest level in two years. Looking ahead, Amazon executives said Q4 sales, which include the holiday shopping season, will be between $160 billion and $167 billion, which is ahead of Wall Street forecasts.
Other Reasons to Like Amazon
Beyond the cost cutting and latest data points, Amazon also continues to move into exciting new areas that should further bolster its earnings and share price in the coming months and years.
Today, Amazon is involved in everything from selling groceries through Whole Foods to producing movies and television shows for its Prime streaming platform via MGM Studios, to airing Thursday Night Football games for the NFL.
Another exciting new area that Amazon is pushing into is artificial intelligence . The company recently announced plans to invest up to $4 billion in AI start-up company Anthropic, which is a rival to ChatGPT creator OpenAI.
Amazon has said that its cloud customers will be given access to Anthropic’s technology through its Bedrock AI platform for businesses. Anthropic will use Amazon Web Services’ in-house microchips to build, train and deploy its AI software and make AWS its primary cloud provider.
Analysts continue to praise the many new growth areas that Amazon is developing, seeing them as positive catalysts for AMZN stock.
Buy AMZN Stock
Now is a great time to buy AMZN stock. With the company’s operations back in the sweet spot, its earnings accelerating, and many exciting new ventures on tap, there looks to be plenty of runway ahead for the share price.
While Amazon’s stock has risen a fair amount already in 2023, the gains to date have come after a punishing decline in 2022. At current levels, AMZN stock is still 45% below its all-time high reached in summer 2021.
Investors who take a position now are sure to be rewarded as the share price runs higher from here. Don’t miss out. AMZN stock is a buy.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in NVDA. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.