Amazon Will Beat 2Q Earnings Estimates, Says 5-Star Analyst

Earnings season is almost in full swing — and a range of notable names are lined up to report results. One worth watching is none other than Amazon (AMZN), which will post its quarterly figures on Thursday, July 23.  

The stakes are high for the e-commerce giant, as its stock has been soaring over 60% so far this year. Can the company’s latest results live up to expectations? Cowen analyst John Blackledge expects Amazon to march on defiantly when it reports 2Q earnings on July 23.

“We expect strong 2Q20 results with Revenue & Operating Income above high end of guide range. Key revenue drivers include AWS, Advertising, Subscription, & accelerating eCom growth (+29% year-over-year vs. +17% year-over-year in 2Q19) given continued COVID-19 demand surge. Our 2Q20 Operating Income forecast is driven by AWS, Ad biz & 3P mix shift offset by COVID investments,” Blackledge said.

And that’s not really much of a surprise. If any company has been COVID proof, it has been the e-commerce giant. The surge in demand during the pandemic’s initial wave has been well documented and with the virus still amongst us, it is safe to say demand for Amazon’s services won’t decelerate any time soon.

That said, Amazon’s expenses have also increased significantly during the period. These will act as a costly counterpoint to the increased sales, as spending on infrastructure, workers’ safety, extra pay, and an expanded workforce are sure to impact the bottom line.

Despite an outlay expected to reach $4 billion, Blackledge expects “investors to look past the 2Q investments in COVID-19 related expenses.”

Overall, for 2Q20, the 5-star analyst calls for revenue of $81.3 billion, a 28% year-over-year increase and above the high end of Amazon’s guidance of between $75 billion to $81 billion. The estimate is also 0.8% above consensus.

Blackledge expects a beat on operating income, too, forecasting $2.1 billion, down 32.8% year-year-year, but still 38% above the high end of Amazon’s guidance of $1.5 billion. The figure is also way higher than the consensus estimate of $952 million.

Accordingly, Blackledge reiterated an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating on Amazon and increased the price target from $2,750 to $3,700 – Wall Street’s most optimistic target right now. The figure implies upside potential of 26% in the year ahead. (To watch Blackledge’s track record, click here)

The sentiment remains bullish among Blackledge’s colleagues. Based on 2 Holds, a lone Sell, and a resounding 37 Buys, Amazon has a Strong Buy consensus rating. Surprisingly, the analysts expect shares to decline by 1%, based on the $2,980.47 average price target. (See Amazon stock analysis on TipRanks)

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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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