In a former life, I was a stock analyst.
And believe it or not, I was actually a famous stock analyst.
First, I was famous for predicting that the stock of a money-losing Internet book store called Amazon would hit $400 a share.
Then, later, I got even more famous for calling a stock a “piece of junk” in an email and getting booted out of the industry.
(What can I say? The stock had crashed 90%. It was a piece of junk!)
Anyway, my $400 target on Amazon was actually not a particularly bold call. Amazon was already trading at $240, so it was akin to saying a $24 stock would go to $40. But Amazon was controversial in those days–many people were convinced it would go bust–and the extra zero made a difference. So I suddenly got famous.
Happily, Amazon’s stock soon blasted through $400, making me look like a prophet instead of a moron.
Then it blasted all the way to $600 (split-adjusted).
Then, along with the rest of the dotcom pieces of junk, it completely cratered, falling to a low of $40 (split-adjusted) two years later.
And then, happily, many years later, unlike the vast majority of the other dotcom pieces of junk, Amazon actually fulfilled its early promises, clawing its way back to $400 again and then rising far beyond that. And today, it just hit a new high.
Thanks to two stock splits–a 2-for-1 and a 3-for-1–the equivalent of $400 a share today is about $66.67.
Amazon ticked $259 this morning.
In the old split, that’s equivalent to $1,554.
Way to go, Amazon!
By the way, way back in 1997, Amazon went public at about $1.50 a share. With this morning’s new high of $259, the stock has appreciated 173X from the IPO price.
That’s what can happen when a great company with a massive opportunity goes public relatively earlier, focuses obsessively on the long-term, and gets better every day.
(And it’s what can happen to investors when they get in relatively early, which today’s IPO markets simply don’t allow. When Amazon went public, it was valued at only $500 million. When Facebook went public, it was valued at $104 billion. It’s hard to get a 100-bagger when you’re already worth that kind of money.)
Anyway, hats off to Jeff Bezos and the rest of the amazing team at Amazon.
(And, lest this seem purely self-serving ego stroking, let me be the first to point out the many other calls I got completely wrong. I loved Yahoo, for example. And I missed the top of the bubble. And I’m certainly not taking any credit for the remarkable success Amazon has delivered…)
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