In a research note reported on by CNBC, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey predicted that Amazon’s broadening product selection, coupled with an increasing preference among consumers to shop online, will lead to a breakout run for the company in the all-important period leading up to Christmas. The investment firm's analyst Youssef Squali expects new records to be broken, arguing that Amazon is in pole position to gobble up a large chunk of online holiday shopping sales projections issued by Adobe Digital Insights.
"Adobe is projecting online holiday shopping sales to hit $107.4 billion in the U.S.," said Squali. "Given a record breaking Prime Day in 2Q, continued momentum in 3Q, and the fact that this is just the second holiday season offering monthly Prime memberships, we expect a record-breaking holiday season for the company."
Squali believes online holiday shopping sales will surpass what Adobe predicted, too. In the note, the analyst pointed out that the computer software company often gets its projections wrong, meaning that online retailers, and Amazon in particular, could be in store for an even better holiday season than previously expected.
"Adobe's model has historically projected growth rates below actual growth rates," said Squali. "Last year, Adobe projected 10 percent year over year vs. 14 percent year over year actual, and in 2015 the projection of 11 percent year over year was well short of the actual 18 percent year over year."
Commentary by Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst for Adobe Digital Insights, also suggests that "all of the predictive models struggle with factoring in the unprecedented competitive retail environment (6,691 store closure announcements year to date)," Squali said.
SunTrust rates Amazon a buy with a price target of $1,270, 13 percent above the company’s closing share price on Wednesday.
SunTrust wasn’t the only analyst to talk up Amazon’s prospects. Morgan Stanley also came out with a bullish note recently, outlining its case for the company to reach a $1 trillion valuation over the next 12 months. (See also: Morgan Stanley Bullish on Amazon's New Businesses.)
In the note, which was published on Sunday, Morgan Stanley said Amazon’s stock could shoot up to $2,000 a share, thanks to its ability to extract high profit margins off soaring revenues. “Amazon's high margin [revenue] disclosure speaks to the $1trln ($2,000/sh) sum of parts bull case," Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak wrote. (See also: Amazon Will Not Store or Ship Drugs: Report.)