Amazon wins over one of its last remaining Wall Street sceptics, which just slapped a 'buy' rating on the stock and expects it to surge 15% in the next year

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  • Amazon shares were upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” by Bernstein on Tuesday, adding to the list of analysts bullish toward the e-commerce giant.
  • The coronavirus pandemic boosted growth in online retail, digital advertising, and cloud computing, and Amazon is a “primary beneficiary across all three revenue pools,” analyst Mark Shmulik wrote in a note to clients.
  • After the upgrade, 52 Wall Street analysts rate Amazon as “buy.” Only two maintain a “hold” rating on the shares, and just one analyst rates the stock “sell.”
  • Shmulik reiterated a $US3,400 price target for Amazon stock, implying a 15% rally over the next 12 months.
  • The company’s recent tumble from record highs creates “an attractive entry point,” he added.
  • Watch Amazon trade live here.

The coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns marked a permanent inflection point for e-commerce trends. Bernstein views Amazon as a top beneficiary.

Analyst Mark Shmulik upgraded the company’s shares to “outperform” from “market perform” on Tuesday, citing internal investments and sector dominance that boosted sales through the quarantine period. Bernstein “undervalued the power of being the sole e-commerce demand aggregator,” and Amazon is positioned to strengthen its dominance in the rising sector, the analyst wrote in a note to clients.

“COVID has pulled forward secular trends, from e-commerce to digital advertising and cloud, with Amazon as a primary beneficiary across all three revenue pools,” Shmulik said. “Amazon has executed incredibly well, pivoting its operations and inventory to in-demand verticals — with flexibility and speed we didn’t expect.”

The firm reiterated its price target of $US3,400 per share, implying a 15% surge over the next 12 months from Monday’s close. Amazon shares jumped as much as 2.7% following the upgrade.

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Shmulik was among the last Wall Street analysts to avoid recommending Amazon shares until his Tuesday change-of-heart. The e-commerce giant has 52 buy ratings after Bernstein’s upgrade. Only two analysts recommend holding the stock at current levels, and just one rates the stock “sell.”

The Bernstein analyst admitted to missing a chance to upgrade shares in March. With shares sitting roughly 16% below their record high after Monday’s session, Shmulik recommended investors buy at temporarily lower levels before his forecasted rally kicks off.

“We’ve been watching the fundamental story improve from the sidelines, waiting for a better entry point to get involved,” he wrote, adding the stock’s recent sell-off creates “an attractive entry point.”

Amazon traded at $US3,030.20 per share as of 10:10 a.m. ET Tuesday, up 63% year-to-date.

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