Shares of global e-commerce leader Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) have taken a beating on weaker-than-expected top line numbers and guidance in the third quarter. While investors sent shares down as much as 10% on the back of earnings results, analysts on the Street have largely remained bullish regarding the Seattle-based tech titan's long-term growth story, recommending that bargain hunters get in now while the stock trades at a discount.
Top Line Growth Less Important as Amazon Doubles Down on High Margin Businesses
In a note to clients on Wednesday, Stifel analyst Scott Devitt highlighted Amazon stock's recent weakness as a compelling entry point, as outlined by Barron's. Closing up about 4.2% at $1,665.53 on Thursday, Amazon stock has fallen roughly 6.2% since posting its Q3 report.
Investors were disappointed with quarterly revenues of $56.6 billion, or $500 lower than the consensus estimate, as well as December quarter top line guidance at $66.5 billion to $72.5 billion, compared to the consensus at $73.8 billion.
Devitt, who rates Amazon at buy, argues that investors should be putting more emphasis on Amazon's burgeoning profits, driven by the growth of its higher-margin businesses.
"We believe revenue growth is becoming a less relevant metric for Amazon given the outsized growth of the company's cloud and advertising businesses," wrote Devitt. "Amazon's longer-term growth story is intact."
The Stifel analyst cited Amazon's profit growth over four consecutive quarters, coming in more than 13% above its sales growth.
"Amazon is the leader in two large and rapidly growing markets (eCommerce and Cloud), and strong momentum from [Amazon Web Services] and advertising are elevating the near-to-intermediate-term margin trajectory," wrote Devitt.
The bull's 12-month price target on Amazon stock at $2,400 reflects a more than 44% upside from Thursday close.
The FAANG stock has gained 42.4% YTD, outperforming both the S&P 500's 2.5% return and the Nasdaq Composite Index's 7.7% growth.