Amazon hits $1,000 a share for the first time

Amazon‘s stock price hit the $US1,000 mark for the first time in early trading on Tuesday.

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 forced established retailers like Walmart to more quickly adapt to how consumers prefer to shop today.

Amazon shares have surged 40% over the past year and more than 50,000% over the last 20 years.

Here is the stunning chart:

NOW WATCH: Here’s what companies like Snap can learn from Amazon’s last 20 years

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.