Amazon Stock: The Riskiest Investment.

Amazon is now one of the biggest companies in the entire world. This is true both in terms of market capitalization and sales. With such great size comes unique risks. Amazon.com, Inc.’s ( amzn ) stock is subject to a number of risks, including increased competition, uncertain revenue growth, speculative value, and volatility in the share price. Investors are optimistic about Amazon’s future performance because it has delivered a high rate of revenue growth since becoming public.

1 The growth of the company has led investors to ignore its inability to produce net profit.

Competition

Amazon’s biggest operation risk is competition. As physical showrooms, specialty retailers like Staples, Inc., Best Buy Co., Inc., Home Depot, Inc., and Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. have become more popular. These major retailers are responding to changing consumer preferences by investing heavily in online channels. Well-respected retail ecommerce sites could challenge Amazon’s dominance in the market. However, these developments are only threats, as Amazon will still hold 36.7% of the highly-fragmented online retail market by 2023.

Amazon’s rapid rise has led other retailers to develop strategies to counteract the online giant. Staples and Best Buy offer price matching and promotional offers that match or beat Amazon’s promotions and prices. This not only reduces Amazon’s market share but also results in narrower margins for all market participants. FedEx ShopRunner is an alternative to Amazon Prime. Many retailers have also partnered with this shipping service.

The company entered this market in 2006 as a strategic differentiation. It also represents a future growth category. Cloud infrastructure is a highly competitive market where most differentiation is achieved by aggressive pricing. Many of the biggest technology companies have already established themselves. Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are Amazon’s biggest competitors in cloud storage. 10 Each of these competitors carves out a niche within the larger market. Some even offer infrastructure-as-a-service as an added value or as a loss leader.

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Profit Uncertainty

Amazon has very small profit margins. It was unable to sustain net profits in the early-mid 2010s. In FY 2012 and 2014, it reported losses. The highest full-year net margin that the company reported was 3.7% in 2009. Amazon’s Gross Margins are kept within a small range. Amazon’s management has committed to expanding infrastructure and increasing investments in Research and Development. This requires high operating costs. Amazon’s profit margin for 2021 reached a new record of just over 7 percent. 11

Amazon’s past investments in failed projects, such as an abandoned foray into the smartphone market, have validated these concerns for some investors. Some investors believe that Amazon’s investments in failed projects, such as its abandoned foray into smartphone markets, validate their concerns. This is a major risk to the bull hypothesis.

Slowing Revenue Growth

Amazon’s growth has been strong over the last decade. Annualized revenue growth metrics have rarely fallen below 20% and can sometimes approach 40%. This has led to a bullish investor mood and analyst predictions. This trend is due to a number of factors. As the base level increases each year, rapid growth is difficult to maintain.

The intensifying competition between retailers and web services has a direct impact on sales growth rates. The amount of sales that Amazon can do without brick-and-mortar stores is limited. Amazon’s bull story is built on the assumption that the company will deliver rapid growth. The investments that led to high operational expenses will be in vain if revenue growth slows down too much. Amazon’s valuation is unjustified if revenue and earnings don’t continue to grow at high rates in the future. Investors should be aware of the risk associated with a slowing in revenue growth.

High Speculative Value

Amazon’s valuation is a risky investment. Amazon shares are a high-risk investment. They cost $180 per share in May 2024. The market cap is $1.88 trillion.

Market Price would still indicate a nearly 10% annual increase over the long term if a person assumed Amazon would meet the highest analyst expectations in two years and then grow by 28% per year for five years. This is not an impossible outcome, but investors are assuming very favorable performance over a long, difficult-to-forecast interval. It is possible to have less than stellar results. It is not uncommon for unprofitable companies to speculate about the future of their medium-term. However, this does not lessen the possibility that expectations will be unmet.

This speculation leads to high share price volatility. Amazon’s beta is 1.15, which indicates that its share price moves up and down more than the stock market.

Adsrocks’s writers are required to cite primary sources in their articles. White papers, government statistics, original reporting and interviews with experts in the industry are some of these sources. Where appropriate, we also refer to original research by other reputable publishers. Our website contains more information about our standards for producing accurate and unbiased content. 

ARTICLE SOURCES

  1. Amazon. “Amazon.com, Inc. “Amazon.com, Inc. Announces initial public offering of 3,000,000 shares of common stock.”
  2. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ” Amazon, Inc., 10-K, for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023.” Page 6.
  3. Statista. Statista.
  4. Best Buy. Best Buy.
  5. Staples. ” 110% Guaranteed Price Match: You’ll Never Pay Less.” Choose FAQs: Which Staples competitors will price match?”
  6. FedEx. ” FedEx completes acquisition of ShopRunner to expand its E-Commerce capabilities.”
  7. ShopRunner. “Stores.”
  8. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Page 24. “Amazon, Inc., 10-K, for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023.” Page 24.
  9. Amazon. “About AWS.”
  10. Synergy Group. ” Huge cloud market sees a strong bounce in growth rate for the second consecutive quarter.”

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