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Amazon Contends with Rising Operating Expenses and Shrinking Gross Margins

publication date: Oct 25, 2019
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Image Shown: Shares of Amazon Inc have stumbled so far in 2019 as the headwinds from rising tariffs, largely a product of the US-China trade war, combined with a competitive cloud computing landscape put downward pressure on its profitability levels. 

Amazon reported third quarter 2019 earnings after the market close on Thursday October 24 that underwhelmed investor expectations and saw shares plummet after-hours. However, shares of AMZN recovered somewhat throughout the trading session on Friday October 25. We don’t include Amazon in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio due in part to its high levels of operating leverage. Small changes in one’s valuation assumptions generally cause large swings in the intrinsic value estimates of a company like Amazon. We like Amazon’s long-term free cash flow generating potential, and our fair value estimate stands at $2,000 per share, but we are still staying away from the company for now. Amazon would have to be heavily discounted relative to the low end of our fair value estimate range (which stands at $1,500 per share as of this writing) before we could get interested in the name as a potential newsletter portfolio addition.

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