The debate around Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock has been heating up lately as the e-commerce stock nears a potential inflection point. When the pandemic first struck, Amazon was one of the highest-flying stocks, seeing its growth bolstered by tailwinds from global lockdowns, as consumers were forced to buy their wares online. The company became essential for millions of people, expanding its reach rapidly.
Now, many investors wonder if there is still enough upside left in AMZN stock to warrant investing at current levels of around $140 per share. Specifically, is it possible for AMZN stock to breach $300 per share in the years ahead, effectively doubling from here? It’s a question worth diving into on both sides of the debate.
Pandemic Tailwinds Have Faded, But New Catalysts Emerge
It’s important to remember that pandemic is rarely discussed anymore, but its effects on the e-commerce sector have been profound. E-commerce sales growth fell sharply last year before seeing a slight recovery this year. Charting out AMZN stock, we can see its price reflect this trend, with AMZN stock seeing a big correction in 2022 before recovering 65%+ year-to-date back to more than $140 per share.
Many analysts now believe AMZN stock is trading in its fair value range following this recovery. The reasoning is that while the company posted double-digit revenue growth of 13% last quarter, its valuation reflects a substantial slowdown from pandemic-era growth levels. Mature companies tend to trade at lower premiums, and Amazon has undoubtedly seen maturation in its e-commerce segment.
However, the e-commerce giant is banking on more than just an e-commerce recovery to drive future growth. It has emerging segments like cloud computing, advertising, streaming, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and more. Areas like AWS cloud drove much-needed growth when e-commerce slowed.
Fierce Competition Clouds Growth Potential
The reality is that Amazon faces intense competition across most of these segments, and unfortunately doesn’t enjoy monopolies in each of its businesses. The company’s future potential total addressable market and growth seems priced into AMZN stock already, at a market capitalization of nearly $1.5 trillion.
To illustrate this, if we forecast estimated revenue ten years from now, Amazon’s current valuation is essentially equal to its projected 2032 sales figures, with 10% (±2%) annual growth from there. More profitable segments like AWS and advertising will likely push sales growth higher than 10% yearly. But it shows AMZN stock is pricing in significant future growth already.
Usually, I’d say such a stock trading at or near its fair value would warrant a “hold” rating for now. However, I’m hesitant to say that with Amazon, because the reality is that fair value doesn’t preclude upside. Due to fast-growing segments like AWS, advertising, AI, and quantum computing, I expect Amazon to deliver above-consensus results in the coming years.
Long-Term Potential is Likely, But Better Opportunities Exist
In summary, while better opportunities exist currently, I don’t think AMZN stock is dead money here by any means. The company’s array of emerging technologies still provides long-term upside, in my view.
Can AMZN stock double within two to three years? I wouldn’t bet on that timeframe. However, looking out over the next five-plus years, I can envision shares surpassing $300. Specifically, I believe AMZN stock can realistically eclipse $200 per share by the end of 2025 (barring a recession), and $300 by approximately 2028 if growth catalysts like AI and quantum computing pay off.
This is a very long-term target, and growth catalysts could potentially propel AMZN stock to these levels faster. Declaring dividends could also result in a rerating of AMZN stock, as investors price in the extra value they receive from dividends into their models.
In the near term, I see muted upside of around 10-15% from current levels. I’d rate AMZN stock a slight “buy” here, but underscore better opportunities likely exist elsewhere for investors seeking big gains in the next couple of months. Amazon offers reliable long-term upside, but don’t expect any near-term fireworks.
On the date of publication, Omor Ibne Ehsan did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.