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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Amazon, Target, Walmart, Etsy, and Shopify

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 12, 2022 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN - Free Report) , Target (TGT - Free Report) , Walmart (WMT - Free Report) , Etsy Inc (ETSY - Free Report) and Shopify (SHOP - Free Report) .
 

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

What Amazon's Retail Estimates Are Telling Us

The leading online retailer in the world, Amazon.com, Inc. needs no introduction. It single-handedly started a retail revolution in the U.S. that rapidly spread to the rest of the world. Amazon's success in fact forced traditional retailers like Target and Walmart to go online because they were losing business.

Some of the traditional retailers also partnered with Amazon and still others had to shut down. Amazon's success also encouraged new online-only retail operations like Etsy Inc and Shopify to start up.

Amazon generates around 60% of its total revenue from the North America region and its diversification across Europe, Asia and other regions currently yields another 27%. The balance comes from its infrastructure-as-a-service business, AWS. We are concerned only with the first two segments here since we are taking a closer look at its retail operations.

In the last four years, North America retail performed largely in line with analyst estimates. The exception was the pandemic-hit 2020, when Amazon missed analyst estimates by around 27%. Excluding 2020, this business recorded a 0.37% positive surprise.  

International revenues have been relatively disappointing. Again excluding 2020 when Amazon missed by over 25%, the average surprise was -0.3%.

Analysts likely turned overly optimistic in 2021, when things were really fluid with gradual vaccination and fresh waves of the infection leading to the waxing and waning in reopening spending. So the North America business posted negative surprises in the June and September quarters, followed by a 1.58% positive surprise in the holiday quarter.

The international business proved harder to forecast. After beating estimates by 8.07% in the March quarter, it missed estimates in the following three quarters by a respective 2.36%, 2.42% and 7.09%.

This likely led analysts to initially lower estimates for the current year and also for 2023. But estimates have started moving up again in the last 30 days indicating improving sentiments. And so, the net change in estimates over the last 90 days was $2.76 (+5.6%) for 2022 and $2.01 (+2.7%) for 2023.

Conclusion

While Amazon is a leading player in the infrastructure segment, the bulk of its revenue still comes from the retail business, which is what makes this segment very important to study. The surprise history in the retail business shows that analysts are still unable to gauge the exact impact of the pandemic, particularly in the international business.

So although estimates are rising again, there may still be risk to them, indicating that it is probably a good idea to hold current positions right now. This explains the #3 (Hold) rating on Amazon shares.

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