Amazon shares fall 7% on weak fourth-quarter forecast
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy speaks during the GeekWire Summit in Seattle on Oct. 5, 2021.
David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Amazon shares plunged 7% on Friday, a day after the company projected sales in the holiday quarter would be far below expectations.
Amazon shares pared back some losses from earlier Friday morning, when the stock was off about 50% from its highs, resulting in about a $940.8 billion hit to Amazon’s value. Earlier in the day, the stock traded at its lowest since April 2020.
The company said Thursday that revenue would be between $140 billion and $148 billion in the three-month period ending the year, which was far below consensus estimates of $155.15 billion, according to Refinitiv.
Revenue in the third quarter came in at $127.1 billion, up 15% year over year but slightly softer than Wall Street’s expected $127.46 billion. Amazon’s cloud business reported a 27.5% revenue growth rate for the quarter, which is the slowest growth since 2014, when the company began breaking out AWS results.
The results capped off a rocky earnings week for Big Tech, where Amazon, Alphabet, Meta and Microsoft all missed expectations for parts of their businesses, signaling how record inflation, rising interest rates and fears of a recession are roiling their businesses. Several companies issued bleak forecasts, indicating more trouble could lie ahead.
Some analysts on Friday shaved their price targets for Amazon’s stock to reflect near-term concerns. Still, others said they remain confident in the retail giant’s long-term prospects.
“Overall, while all of AMZN’s business units are likely exposed to broader macro pressures, we do not view 3Q results or 4Q guidance as thesis changing,” wrote JMP Securities’ Nicholas Jones, who maintained his market outperform rating on Amazon shares but revised his price target down to $140 from $150.
“AMZN’s solutions within retail and cloud remain compelling offerings, in our opinion, and advertising continues to have a large opportunity for growth beyond promoted listings,” Jones wrote. “Accordingly, we see AMZN as a best-in-class internet business that can not only weather the macro storm, but emerge primed to reaccelerate growth.”
Wolfe Research analyst Deepak Mathivanan wrote in a note that Amazon’s fourth-quarter guidance shows it’s not immune to the challenging global macro environment.
“However, we think the company is well positioned to navigate a choppy demand environment with minimal disruption to operations and potentially gain share from sub-scale players,” said Mathivanan, who kept his outperform rating on Amazon shares but trimmed his price target to $130 from $150.
WATCH: Amazon misses on revenue, stock plummets on weak fourth-quarter guidance