Stocks to buy

Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) core businesses performed extremely well last quarter, causing its shares to look quite appealing. But that’s not the only thing that’s looking up for AMZN stock.

Source: Mike Mareen /

In addition to a healthy first quarter, AMZN is quite attractive now because of the e-commerce giant’s promising initiatives, as well its incoming CEO. Plus, shares of Amazon stock are currently at a relatively reasonable valuation.

So, here’s what you should do with this stock as we move further into 2021.

AMZN Stock: AWS and E-commerce Delivered Strong Q1

There are a lot of things making me bullish on AMZN stock today. Firstly, though, let’s start with the company’s recent results.

Amazon Web Service (AWS), the company’s cloud unit, is its biggest profit driver. In Q1, the unit’s top line jumped 32% year-over-year (YOY). CFO Brian Olsavsky also reported that the division’s 12-month run rate is poised to reach $54 billion, versus $31 billion in 2019.  That’s a tremendous growth rate of nearly 75%. Finally, Q1 net income soared to $8.1 billion, compared with $2.5 billion during the same period a year earlier.

Additionally, as another InvestorPlace contributor recently pointed out while recounting the Amazon e-commerce unit results, “First-party revenues shot up 44% from $36.7 billion to $52.9 billion. Moreover, its third-party results were even more impressive, with a 64% year-over-year growth in revenues from $14.48 billion to $23.71 billion.”

Finally, powered by large increases in Amazon’s advertising business, the revenue of Amazon’s miscellaneous segment jumped to $6.9 billion. That was up from $3.9 billion.

Amazon Has Promising Initiatives

On top of an all-around promising Q1, though, Amazon has several high-potential initiatives. These include a food delivery service in India, cashier-free stores and “home robots” powered by artificial intelligence (AI). In that latter area, Amazon is developing an offering with “the latest cameras, sensors and other futuristic technologies [that] may be able to do everything from simple household chores to complex problem-solving, as well as providing companionship.”

Moreover, the e-commerce giant is developing drones for both home-security and delivery applications, along with autonomous driving (AD) systems. It’s also reportedly looking to buy MGM. With that movie-studio move, Amazon would make its Prime video service much more attractive, enabling it to bring in many more Prime members.

Finally, as I’ve pointed out in previous columns on Blackberry (NYSE:BB), the Canadian IT security company is working closely with Amazon to develop an app store for connected vehicles. McKinsey predicts that “The vehicle data analytics market” will generate “$450 billion to $750 billion  per year by 2030.” With BlackBerry’s QNX operating system potentially having a presence in thousands if not millions of vehicles, the new auto app store could move the needle further for AMZN stock over the longer term.

Incoming CEO Will Probably Be a Positive Catalyst

Lastly, though, Amazon’s new CEO will likely be a positive development for AMZN stock.

As I pointed out back in a February, incoming CEO Andy Jassy led AWS for around 18 years and has done a great job with the division. Jassy is expected to take over sometime next quarter. Further, history shows that CEOs with extensive tech backgrounds do much better at leading large tech firms than those without such backgrounds.

In the previous article, I also stated my belief that Jassy could emphasize tech-oriented initiatives more so than Jeff Bezos did. I stated that Jassy is most likely “much hungrier for success” than his predecessor has been in recent years. Consequently, I expect the new CEO to push himself, his top aides and the entire company to work hard.

The Bottom Line on AMZN Stock

Right now, Amazon’s forward price-earnings (P/E) ratio is a reasonable 58.96 times. And, given the combination of its promising new initiatives and Jassy’s move into the CEO chair, I’m confident that the company’s longer-term results will come in meaningfully above analysts’ average outlook.

As such, I urge investors to buy AMZN stock. This name is especially appropriate for more conservative, longer-term growth investors.

On the date of publication, Larry Ramer held a long position in BB. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Larry Ramer has conducted research and written articles on U.S. stocks for 13 years. He has been employed by The Fly and Israel’s largest business newspaper, Globes. Larry began writing columns for InvestorPlace in 2015.  Among his highly successful, contrarian picks have been GE, solar stocks, and Snap. You can reach him on StockTwits at @larryramer. 

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