| Amazon.com, Inc. (stock symbol: AMZN) completed its initial public offering in May 15, 1997, when it raised gross proceeds of $54 million through the sale of 3,000,000 shares of common stock at $18.00 per share, which gave the company a valuation of approximately $440 million. The shares have since been split three times: 2 for 1 on June 2, 1998; 3 for 1 on January 5, 1999; and 2 for 1 on September 2, 1999. The split-adjusted price of the IPO shares is $1.50.|
Since its inception, Amazon has become the world’s preeminent and innovative e-commerce retailer. Starting out as an online seller of books, Amazon Marketplace has expanded its product offerings and now accounts for 5% of all retail spending in the United States. According to Slice Intelligence, it captured 43% of all dollars spent online in 2016. It sells private-label goods, merchandise purchased for resale from a wide variety of vendors, as well as merchandise sold on behalf of third-party sellers. Amazon’s e-book reader, the Kindle, dominates the e-reader market. It sells the books of third-party publishers, as well as books acquired and published under the Amazon imprint. Kindle Direct Publishing is an online platform that allows independent authors and publishers to make their books available in the Kindle Store.
Amazon has invested heavily in its logistics and distribution network. It owns a fleet of airplanes and has set the standard for utilizing robotics in its warehouses. It is a pioneer in the development of drones that it plans to use for direct deliveries to its customers.
Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service ($99 per year) that gives Amazon customers access to free two-day shipping, as well as access to unlimited streaming of Amazon’s libraries of movies, television episodes and music; and other services.
It has also become the leader in the cloud computing marketplace through its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division. According to the Synergy Research Group, AWS has a 45% share of the public cloud infrastructure market – more than Microsoft, Google and IBM combined.
Amazon Echo is a smart speaker that connects to a voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant service Alexa, which responds to the name “Alexa.” The device is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic and other real time information. It can also control smart devices, using itself as a home automation hub. Perhaps most importantly, it can be used to order products from Amazon.
Amazon recently made an offer to acquire Whole Foods, an event that may totally disrupt the grocery business.
This board has been created for the purpose of discussing Amazon.com’s stock price, financial prospects and actual results, the merits of its business model, the amazon.com experience and Internet retail websites in general. It is neither a Bulls nor a Bears board and all opinions are welcome.
The board is moderated and my expectation is that everyone will be civil to one another. Pretend that your mother is reading the board and that she knows your virtual handle. No name calling and please avoid engaging in political commentary unless it has a specific bearing on Amazon.com.
SEC filings: sec.gov
Amazon’s Investor Relations page: phx.corporate-ir.net