Amazon flies high, may rise 25 percent more - Barron's

NEW YORK Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:54am EDT

UPS driver T.J. Dellasala delivers two packages from Amazon.com in Boston, Massachusetts July 26, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

UPS driver T.J. Dellasala delivers two packages from Amazon.com in Boston, Massachusetts July 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc shares, just below their all-time high, could rise 10 percent to 25 percent if its capital spending translates to fast growth in its retailing, Kindle e-readers and cloud-computing businesses, Barron's said in its August 1 edition.

On July 26, the online retailer posted a 51 percent jump in quarterly revenue to $9.91 billion, while saying profit fell 8 percent to $191 million, or 41 cents per share.

The profit decline was smaller than analysts expected, however, and Amazon shares reached an all-time high of $227.20 the next day. They closed Friday at $222.52. A 25 percent increase from there projects to a $278.15 stock price.

Barron's said investors often worry about a disconnect between higher revenue and lower profit.

But it said Seattle-based Amazon has a 14-year history of driving higher revenue at the expense of margins by investing aggressively in technology, distribution and real estate.

It said Amazon was now spending money to build fulfilment and distribution centres, build data centres for its Amazon Web Services cloud unit, and expand its Kindle franchise.

The newspaper said that while Amazon stock trades at close to an "unthinkable" 107 times expected 2011 profit, it may be "pragmatic" to compare Amazon with Wal-Mart Stores Inc 20 years ago, when the latter's revenue grew 35 percent to $44 billion.

It quoted an analyst as saying Amazon's revenue could in 2011 increase 43 percent to $49 billion, but that "it's better" than Wal-Mart because its storeless business model could result in higher long-term economic returns.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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