Amazon is on the verge of hitting $1,000 a share for the first time

Amazon’s stock is a hair away from the $US1,000 mark.

The company’s shares went public on May 15, 1997, at a time when it had no clear path to profitability and bookstores like Barnes & Noble — over a century older — threatened its business.

Amazon has now turned a profit for eight straight quarters largely because of the strength of its cloud-computing business, Amazon Web Services.

Its more popular, less profitable retail segment has also forced established retailers like Walmart more quickly adapt to how consumers prefer shopping today.

Amazon shares have surged 41% over the past year, and more than 50,000% over the last 20 years.

Here is the stunning chart:

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