It's a big week for Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and its investors, as Prime Day kicks off on Monday. Analysts have high expectations for record sales numbers from Amazon, but there are more factors in play for AMZN stock investors than just revenue.
Coresight Research estimates Prime Day will generate a record $3.4 billion in sales this year, up about 40 percent from last year's $2.4 billion in Prime Day sales. The 36-hour shopping event will likely represent the second-biggest sales volume Amazon will get all year, trailing only Cyber Monday.
This year's Prime Day event will be the first of its kind to include special discounts at Whole Foods stores.
In addition to massive sales numbers, Amazon uses Prime Day as a tool for boosting its Prime memberships. Earlier this year, Amazon reported 100 million global prime members for the first time.
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GBH Insights head of technology research Daniel Ives says Amazon's ecosystem of integrated products and services has created an unparalleled flywheel effect for Amazon's business. Ives says Amazon is on track to account for roughly half of all U.S. e-commerce spending in 2019.
"Prime growth remains the key jewel for Amazon going forward as cross-selling around Whole Foods customers and putting up more walls/barriers around its growing Prime competitive moat is a major ingredient in Amazon's ability to fend off competition, in our opinion," Ives says.
While there's no question Prime Day will be a big day for Amazon, market expectations are extremely high. AMZN stock hit new all-time highs last week ahead of Prime Day and is now up another 55 percent year-to-date.
CFRA analyst Tuna Amobi says Prime Day 2018 will likely be just as successful as previous years.
"With over 1 million deals planned exclusively for Amazon Prime members, this year's event could mark the most successful iteration yet for the annual shopping extravaganza, each of which has successively topped the prior year since its 2015 inception," Amobi says.
In addition to promoting Prime membership, Amobi says Amazon will discount and promote many of its own products that help feed the Amazon flywheel effect.
"We think popular categories will likely include hardware devices as well consumer electronics, toys and other categories," Amobi says.
GBH Insights has a "highly attractive" rating and $2,000 price target for Amazon. CFRA has a "buy" rating and $1,800 target for AMZN stock.
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