Amazon (AMZN) stock closed at $1,785.30 on September 23 and rose further to $1,793 in the extended trading hours. There was just one day in the third week of September in which AMZN stock has closed at a high—September 19. This peak occurred after CEO Jeff Bezos announced the company’s new sustainability measures and pro-climate initiatives.
In the next two trading days, AMZN’s stock price declined again, as Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak recently downgraded its stock forecast. The original 12-month price estimate was $2,300, which Nowak revised downward by $100.
Nowak attributed the reduction to the high costs of one-day deliveries. For a comparative analysis of AMZN stock with its peers, please read Amazon Stock Down as Morgan Stanley Cuts Price Target.
The Great Indian Sale
Amazon is working to bolster its revenue numbers in the final week before the end of the third quarter. So, the company’s e-commerce business will turn toward the Indian market for a massive sales push. Its Great Indian Sale is scheduled to run from September 29 to October 4.
Open to Amazon Prime members a day early, this sale features electronics such as mobile phones and laptops at discounts up to 70%. The company has partnered with Indian banks and NBFCs (non-banking financial companies) to facilitate low-cost financing.
Additionally, the company plans to promote the use of Amazon Pay for online payments. The company hopes to gain by its volume-driven sales with its Amazon Steal offers in the price range of 49–149 rupees, which is less than $1 to about $2.
In 2018, Amazon’s Great Indian Sale performed exponentially better than in 2017. The 2018 sales figures surpassed the entire 2017 event sales within the first 36 hours. Historically, the Great Indian Sale has always been a success in the country. This year’s drive is also expected to post high sales figures from the Indian markets.
New fulfillment center in Ontario
The e-commerce titan is spreading its market presence in Canada. A newly announced fulfillment center would be the seventh in the city of Ontario and the 12th in Canada.
Covering 1 million square feet, the Scarborough facility could create around 600 new jobs. The company already employs over 10,000 people in its operational facilities, fulfillment centers, and tech hubs in Canada.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford welcomed investments in the province, noting, “Business is booming in Ontario and today’s announcement by Amazon is further proof that our plan is working to make Ontario open for business and open for jobs.”
Ford added, “We welcome Amazon’s continued investment in our province, and we will continue to make Ontario the best place for businesses to invest, grow, and create jobs for people.”
Exclusive gaming content for Amazon Prime members
Amazon announced a special benefit for Amazon Prime members, allowing them to access exclusive mobile game content for the next three months. Amazon chose PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (or PUBG) to launch the new gaming content.
The original exclusive content is already available for Prime members, and the company plans to launch new content regularly until December. Gamers can access unique game features through in-app selections. The company might consider approaching other well-known game developers for exclusive content rights.
Amazon PayCode and Amazon Cash
The e-commerce giant launched Amazon PayCode in the United States on September 18. Available in 19 countries, Amazon PayCode allows customers to shop online and to make cash payments in person via the company’s partnership with Western Union. Currently, more than 15,000 partner locations accept Amazon PayCode.
After the customer makes the cash payment, a confirmation is sent to Amazon. Sellers ship the products after receiving the confirmation from the Western Union location. When using PayCode, the customer isn’t charged additional fees for the transaction. Plus, banking transaction limits don’t apply to PayCode purchases.
Amazon Cash is similar to PayCode, allowing users to access funds in Amazon Cash and pay for their purchases through its cash wallet. Customers can load cash onto their wallets from more than 100,000 cash-loading venues.
Amazon has seen a lot of publicity this month, including complaints by delivery drivers, letters from the US Senate to Bezos, and antitrust fines in Europe. However, Amazon appears to have several aces up its sleeve with the initiatives we explored in this story.
AMZN’s earnings per share could drop below its Q2 numbers. Forecasts from Zacks Investment Research estimate the company’s Q3 EPS to range from $3.35 to $5.45. We expect Amazon to release its Q3 results in the final week of October.