Does Amazon Belong in Your Portfolio?

With shares of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) trading around $343, is AMZN an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Amazon serves its customers through its retail websites and focuses on selection, price, and convenience. The company also manufactures and sells Kindle devices. Amazon offers programs that enable sellers to sell their products on the company’s websites, including the sellers’ own branded websites, and fulfill orders through them. Amazon also provides platforms that allow authors, musicians, filmmakers, app developers, and others to publish and sell content. Online commerce has been on the rise because of the convenience, efficiency, and relatively low prices offered.

Amazon has denied a report by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that claimed the e-commerce giant was readying a free television and music streaming service, which would be ad-supported and not just for Prime customers. The Journal has since removed the article from its site. According to Variety, the report gave shaky details via unnamed sources about a potential television service that would offer TV through the Web, showing Amazon original series as well as programming licensed from other sources. Amazon currently offers TV streaming to its Prime customers via Prime Instant Video. A free, ad-supported service would compete with Hulu’s free offering. A spokesperson from Amazon denied the report in an email to Variety, saying, “We’re often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming-media service.”

T = Technicals on the Stock Chart Are Mixed

Amazon stock has been exploding to the upside in the last several years. However, the stock is currently trading sideways and may need time to stabilize before heading higher. Analyzing the price trend and its strength can be done using key simple moving averages. What are the key moving averages? The 50-day (pink), 100-day (blue), and 200-day (yellow) simple moving averages. As seen in the daily price chart below, Amazon is trading between its rising key averages which signal neutral price action in the near-term.

AMZN

(Source: Thinkorswim)

Taking a look at the implied volatility (red) and implied volatility skew levels of Amazon options may help determine if investors are bullish, neutral, or bearish.

Implied Volatility (IV)

30-Day IV Percentile

90-Day IV Percentile

Amazon options

33.88%

93%

90%

What does this mean? This means that investors or traders are buying a very significant amount of call and put options contracts, as compared to the last 30 and 90 trading days.

Put IV Skew

Call IV Skew

April Options

Average

Average

May Options

Average

Average

As of today, there is an average demand from call and put buyers or sellers, all neutral over the next two months. To summarize, investors are buying a very significant amount of call and put option contracts and are leaning neutral over the next two months.

On the next page, let’s take a look at the earnings and revenue growth rates and the conclusion.

E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter

Rising stock prices are often strongly correlated with rising earnings and revenue growth rates. Also, the last four quarterly earnings announcement reactions help gauge investor sentiment on Amazon’s stock. What do the last four quarterly earnings and revenue growth (Y-O-Y) figures for Amazon look like and more importantly, how did the markets like these numbers?

2013 Q4

2013 Q3

2013 Q2

2013 Q1

Earnings Growth (Y-O-Y)

137.32%

-85%

-150%

-35.71%

Revenue Growth (Y-O-Y)

20.31%

19.23%

22.36%

21.88%

Earnings Reaction

-10.99%

9.38%

2.83%

-7.24%

Amazon has seen rising earnings and revenue figures over the last four quarters. From these numbers, the markets have been pleased with Amazon’s recent earnings announcements.

P = Average Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector

How has Amazon stock done relative to its peers, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK), and sector?

Amazon

eBay

Barnes & Noble

Overstock

Sector

Year-to-Date Return

-13.80%

0.79%

36.25%

-35.70%

-2.11%

Amazon has been an average performer, year-to-date.

Conclusion

Amazon is one of the largest Internet commerce companies in the world, and it aims to serve the needs of consumers, companies, and entrepreneurs around the globe. The company has denied a report by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that claimed the e-commerce giant was readying a free television and music streaming service. The stock has been exploding to the upside in the past several years, but is currently trading sideways. Over the last four quarters, earnings and revenues have been rising, which has pleased investors in the company. Relative to its peers and sector, Amazon has been an average performer year-to-date. Look for Amazon to OUTPERFORM.

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