Markets

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Net Worth Surpasses $100B

A record-breaking start to the holiday quarter has catapulted Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos to become the world’s wealthiest person (again), surpassing Microsoft (MSFT) chairman Bill Gates.

Despite most brick-and-mortar retailers using hefty discounts to lure shoppers during Thanksgiving and Black Friday events, online sales still hit all-time highs. And Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, dominated those sales, accounting for 45 to 50% of Black Friday revenues, according to market research firm GBH Insights.

In a 24-hour span, the Seattle-based tech giant hauled in more than $1 billion in sales. The company said that orders via mobile devices grew more than 50% on Thanksgiving day. Investors wasted no time doing the math, projecting what is poised to be a spectacular holiday season for Amazon, sending AMZN stock soaring to all-time highs Monday, reaching $1,213.41.

Amazon shares have risen 60% year-to-date, including more than 26% over the past three months, besting the 6.5% three-month rise of the S&P 500 index. Just this year alone, those returns have boosted Bezos' wealth by 53%.

Courtesy Amazon.com

In the process, Bezos’ net worth, which is almost all tied to AMZN stock, broke above $100 billion Monday for the first time, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He surpassed the previous leader, Bill Gates, who, according to Forbes, is worth around $90 billion. And there’s seemingly no signs of slowing down.

Adobe Analytics, which noted that on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day online sales jumped 17.9% from last year, expects Cyber Monday to be the largest U.S. online shopping day ever, generating almost $7 billion in total sales. Meanwhile, Amazon, according to Bain & Co., is expected to seize some 50% of total online sales growth for Cyber Monday.

Those sales are expected to help Amazon demolish its holiday quarter forecast. The company will report fourth quarter fiscal 2017 earnings results in the last week of January. For the quarter that ended December, Wall Street expects Amazon to earn $1.84 per share on revenue of $59.73 billion, translating to year-over-year increases of 19.5% and 36.5%, respectively.

The fact that both the top and bottom line numbers are projected so highly and yet seem conservative suggests that Amazon stock — despite trading at all-time highs — could be this holiday’s gift that keeps on giving.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Richard Saintvilus

After having spent 20 years in the IT industry serving in various roles from system administration to network engineer, Richard Saintvilus became a finance writer, covering the investor's view on the premise that everyone deserves a level playing field. His background as an engineer with strong analytical skills helps him provide actionable insights to investors. Saintvilus is a Warren Buffett disciple who bases his investment decisions on the quality of a company's management, its growth prospects, return on equity and other metrics, including price-to-earnings ratios. He employs conservative strategies to increase capital, while keeping a watchful eye on macro-economic events to mitigate downside risk. Saintvilus' work has been featured on CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Forbes, Motley Fool and numerous other outlets. You can follow him on Twitter at @Richard_STv.

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