Amazon’s 20th anniversary year was not much to brag about. 2014 proved to be a rough year for the company as earnings report after earnings report landed on Wall Street with a disappointing thud. Each time investors got excited about Amazon news, such as the price hike of the Amazon Prime streaming services, or the release of the ill-fated Fire Phone, the numbers showed that excitement doesn’t necessarily equal profits.
Overall, the stock lost close to 25% of its value over the course of the year. However, investors haven’t given up on Amazon, and many analysts have picked it as THE stock to own in 2015. So where’s the optimism coming from? Let’s find out.
More original Amazon content
Amazon has recently revealed that it would start production on 12 original motion pictures in 2015, marking its first foray into the movie business. So far, Amazon Prime’s original series have been extremely well received, with both “Alpha House” and ‘Transparent” gaining commercial success as well as critical acclaim.
How well will Amazon’s movies do? Considering the movie industry’s recent reluctance to invest in anything but comic book movies and their sequels, viewers might be more than happy to view original Amazon movie content from the comfort of their home. This addition to the Amazon Prime offering, along with little extras such as one free Kindle book a month, free express shipping, unlimited cloud storage and an ad-free music streaming service, is making $99 a year start to sound like a pretty sweet deal.
Following in the footsteps of Apple, Microsoft and Google, Amazon too has finally shown its commitment to renewable energy by announcing plans to build a wind farm dedicated to powering its Amazon Web Services or AWS.
The wind farm, set to start operations in January 2016, will provide 100% of the energy requires to power Amazon’s massive datacenters, moving it to the top of the list of tech companies dedicated to going green. And since more and more companies take environmental considerations into account when deciding on their cloud-based services providers, this investment may prove to be an important one in the long run.
More Sunday deliveries
Let’s get back to Amazon’s most important source of revenue: sales and deliveries. The company has been signing up postal service providers all over the globe for their new Sunday delivery option, in order to give customers a 24/7 shopping experience. In the UK alone, Amazon reported a four-fold increase in Sunday deliveries in 2014, as more and more cities are linked up to Amazon’s delivery network.
Although in the U.S. many companies have caught wind of Amazon’s initiative and are now also adding Sunday deliveries to their services, in many countries Amazon is the only retailer to ship on Sundays. This makes them the default choice for impatient shoppers who want their purchases delivered before the start of the week. This gives the Amazon a significant advantage in beating other online retailers to the customers’ wallets.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the current low price of the stock (ranging between $290-$310) makes it a bargain stock in the eyes of most analysts, who are predicting a rebound year for the world’s biggest marketplace.
Amazon is expected to issue its first earnings report on 29/1, which will be a good indicator of where the stock is headed this year. But even if the report plunges the stock price further towards the ground, it will mean even more of a discount for those willing to invest in Amazon’s prospects for the future.
Is it the right time to invest in Amazon? You decide!