The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon, TripAdvisor, Etsy and

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - December 31, 2018 - announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Amazon AMZN , TripAdvisor TRIP , Etsy ETSY and STMP .

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Amazon Witnesses Robust Holiday Performance with Strong Sales

Amazon continues to gain significant momentum in this holiday season, courtesy of robust e-commerce platform and aggressive retail strategies.

The company's recent announcement of record-breaking holiday sales hints at an outstanding performance in this season. This bodes well for Amazon's heavy spending on each of its holiday initiatives.

Notably, the company experienced robust sales in product categories such as toys, electronics and fashion.

Further, the company witnessed strong performance of its own brands like Amazon Essentials, Goodthreads, Daily Ritual, AmazonBasics, Amazon Elements and many more during the season.

Additionally, Amazon Devices exhibited more sales compared with the year-ago period. The all-new Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo products were some of the best-selling devices.

Customer-Friendly Initiatives

The e-commerce giant adopted several initiatives to efficiently cater to the growing demand of the customers during the peak season.

Apart from the online retail platform, it expanded its physical presence rapidly by rolling out Amazon Go stores at several locations to ramp up sales in offline retail in the season. The cashier less feature of these stores prevented the customers from the holiday shopping rush and long queue.

Further, Amazon 4-star, Amazon Books and Whole Foods Market stores gained traction.

Additionally, the company made shopping easier for the customers by equipping Alexa with shopping skills. Also, utilization rate of Alexa Shopping tripled this year from the year-ago tally.

Also, shopping rate by customers using Spanish language on the company's e-commerce site doubled from the year-ago tally, owing to the integration of Spanish language in

All these initiatives along with the company's distribution strength, vast product portfolio and deep discounts on products aided performance.

Prime: Key Catalyst

Amazon Prime is the key catalyst for the company's robust holiday sales that were driven by customer-friendly offers, cashback benefits and efficient delivery services.

The company continued to witness acceleration in Prime adoption rate. Notably, millions of customers across the globe opted for paid membership and utilized Prime free trials to avail FREE Same-Day, One-Day or Two-Day shipping and FREE two-hour delivery services.

This reflects the company's strength in online retailing. Per a report from Mastercard, online sales improved 19.1% year over year from Nov 1, 2018 to Dec 24, 2018.

Amazon is well poised to capitalize on such prospects with the help of Prime program.

We believe that record breaking sales along with increase in Prime paid membership during the holiday season are likely to drive the top line. This is expected to aid the company in exceeding sales guidance for the current quarter.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Amazon carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Few better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are TripAdvisor, Etsy and While TripAdvisor sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Etsy and carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rate for TripAdvisor, Etsy and is pegged at 14.05%, 15% and 15%, respectively.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss . This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Inc. (STMP): Free Stock Analysis Report

TripAdvisor, Inc. (TRIP): Free Stock Analysis Report, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report

Etsy, Inc. (ETSY): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

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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