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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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work