By Chris Ciaccia
These three stocks are poised to benefit from Cyber Monday, as more Americans continue to do their holiday shopping online.
As consumers recover from their Thanksgiving dinners and Black Friday weekend shopping, Cyber Monday hits them right smack in the wallet, as they return to work and fill up their virtual shopping carts. Companies like Apple (AAPL), eBay (EBAY), and Amazon (AMZN) are poised to reap the benefits, especially as mobile continues to be a dominant theme.
Even though Black Friday saw increased foot traffic but slower sales according to ShopperTrak, Cyber Monday is poised to be huge, building off last year's momentum. ShopperTrak estimates that retail foot traffic rose 3.5% year-over-year, but actual sales decreased 1.8% percent, with shoppers spending an estimated total of $11.2 billion yesterday. These results do not include Thursday, which saw many retailers such as Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT) and Sears (SHLD) open their stores Thursday night.
ShopperTrak will have the final details for the entire weekend on Nov. 27.
A significant portion of Black Friday online traffic was done on Apple's iPad, causing IBM to release a report known as "The iPad Factor." The report noted that the iPad accounted for 9.8% of all mobile traffic, and 88.3% of all traffic done on tablets.
Also seeing heavy usage was Apple's iPhone, which was used 8.7% of the time for mobile shopping, according to IBM. Apple owning two of the top most-used devices should benefit the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant, as consumers continue to clamor for its devices.
Apple recently said it expects to have about $52 billion in revenue during the all-important holiday quarter, as the iPhone 5, iPad mini, and iPad continue to sell extremely well. With IBM showing such strong usage data, Apple is poised to benefit this Black Friday and later into the holiday season. In early Cyber Monday data, IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark noted that the iPhone is a huge driver of retail shopping, with 8.7% of traffic on this device, versus 7.2% for the iPad and 6.3% for Android devices.
Shares of Apple are up 41.1% year-to-date, more than doubling the 13.88% return of the Nasdaq.
EBay should also benefit from strong usage of its mobile apps, as PayPal continues to become a major force in mobile payments.
On PayPal's blog, the company noted it is poised to do more than $10 billion in transactions for 2012, with plenty of that coming during the holiday season. In a press release, eBay noted its PayPal unit saw a 173% increase in global mobile payment volume year-over-year. The time it was done most frequently was between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. PST, according to the press release.
The San Jose-based company noted that its GSI unit saw a strong increase in mobile sales, rising 170% year-over-year. EBay also noted that it saw a 133% increase in mobile volume transacted on Thanksgiving, compared to last year.
Retail research firm Channel Advisor noted that eBay had exceptionally strong same-store-sales (SSS) for Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The research firm noted that SSS was up 26.6%, 30.5% and 36% year-over-year during the three days, sharply higher than the rest of November.
eBay shares are up 61.6% year-to-date, more than tripling the 13.88% return of the Nasdaq, largely due in part to growth surrounding its PayPal unit.
Amazon is a go-to destination, offering a variety of different products at sharply discounted prices. As more consumers continue to do their shopping online versus brick and mortar, Amazon is primed to benefit. According to comScore, saw 57.3 million American visitors, an increase of 18% year-over-year, and Amazon is poised to benefit from Cyber Monday.
Amazon has tried to outdo other retailers, launching a Cyber Monday week of deals, as consumers return to work and do some of their holiday shopping. Other retailers have followed suit with their own Cyber Monday deals, but Amazon has the first mover advantage.
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali noted that Amazon's third-party (3P) same-store-sales were up strongly over the holidays, rising 34.8% year-over-year on Thanksgiving, 38.3% on Black Friday and 43.4% on Cyber Saturday. "We view this positively for 3P sales and for Amazon’s margins, as 3P sales are recorded on a net basis and carry higher margins vs. owned inventory," Squali wrote in a research note. He rates Amazon shares buy with a $285 price target.
Amazon shares have gained 38.6% since the start of the year.
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