John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Spare Change for Amazon Shares?

amzn$118.49. That’s the price at which Amazon shares closed Friday, a day after the company reported a 69 percent jump in third-quarter profit and a 28 percent gain in revenue. It was a new 52-week high and the stock’s best since December 1999, when it hit $106.68.

Which is saying something. Because as you might recall, in 1999, Nasdaq was soaring on the back of the dot-com bubble to levels never before seen.

And here we are amid the worst recession since the 1930s. Haven’t even entered that “all important holiday shopping season” yet, either.

Things are looking pretty good for Amazon (AMZN) right now. Sure, there’s renewed competition from retailers like Wal-Mart (WMT). There are potential sales tax issues and income tax liabilities and a raft of Kindle-killers headed to market. But Amazon’s stock is up 131 percent this year, brokerage firms are upgrading their ratings on the company, and analysts are saying it’s only going to go higher.

Said Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney: “Near-term outlook very positive as AMZN heads into holiday season fully armed against shrinking/de-stocking offline retailers, with one of the must-have gadgets of the season (Kindle), a significantly strengthening International presence, and soon-to-be closed Zappos acquisition.”

Yeah. Things are looking pretty good right now. But we said that back in ’99 too–when Amazon had a similar P/E.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald