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Amazon.com vs. Alphabet: Where to Put Your Money

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So far this year, an investor comparing Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) to Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG , NASDAQ: GOOGL ), the home of Google, has seen that it's no contest.

It's Amazon stock all the way.

Amazon's market cap is up an amazing 68% so far in 2018, against an 18% rise in GOOGL. Amazon stock just hit the $1-trillion mark Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) passed recently.

Alphabet, by contrast, is worth "only" $874 billion, although this is no small feat. Before this decade, the era of the "Cloud Czars," market caps of $500 billion were practically unheard of.

But if you want to put money to work today, do you bet on the trend continuing, or can Google possibly catch up?

Reasons to Be Skeptical of Amazon

My own money has stayed in AMZN stock, which I bought at around $330 per share five years ago, when some analysts were calling it a scam that could never make money. I've gotten my original investment out, with interest, but I've continued to let the rest ride.

But I find it hard to rationally defend Amazon's current valuation. I know, it should do $230 billion in business this year. It's growing at 30% per year. It has half the e-commerce market and dominates in renting its cloud to other companies. You don't argue with success.

But looking at the future, there are reasons for disquiet. Amazon's Alexa smart speaker has been losing share to Google's Home . Its market share has plunged from 78% in the second quarter of 2017 to 41% in the second quarter of this year, while Google's share has nearly doubled to 28% .

It turns out people don't use smart speakers for shopping but for listening to music and for personal business, like a smart alarm clock.

Amazon has also become a political punching bag , never a good thing,

Amazon's latest Prime Day was something of a fiasco , not just because the website crashed, but because most of the "sales" were on Amazon-branded electronics, and those sales prices became the regular prices within weeks of the sale ending.

Google Making Inroads

There is also evidence that Google is becoming more like Amazon.

Google has been working with retailers to turn Google Shopping into a sort of Rebel Alliance against Amazon's Death Star.

Google Cloud has been aggressively going after the high end of the cloud market . Google is starting to collect a fire hose of data with its contactless payment technology even as Apple grabs the headlines.

Google is starting to make loans in India and to support all the country's languages with publishing services, a cheaper way to more money than Amazon may make in its crowded shopping space.

Bottom Line on Google and Amazon Stock

In general, Google has become increasingly aggressive in delivering computer-based services with high margins. Revenue may be on track to grow just 10% this year, to over $120 billion, but profits for the first six months are already $12.5 billion, against $5.3 billion for Amazon.

It is competing more aggressively in areas where Amazon has dominated in the past, and in some areas, it has been taking share.

I personally think the next major move for all the Cloud Czars is down, once investors learn just how little of their vast cloud capacity is actually used. But if I were to put new money to work in either of them today, it would probably be in Google rather than Amazon stock.

Dana Blankenhornis a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of the historical mystery romance, The Reluctant Detective Travels in Time , available now at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at danablankenhorn@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn . As of this writing, he owned shares in AMZN.

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The post Amazon.com vs. Alphabet: Where to Put Your Money appeared first on InvestorPlace .

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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