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Three reasons why you’ll want to own Amazon in 2023

Amazon (Amazon Stock Quote, Charts, News, Analysts, Financials NASDAQ:AMZN) may have had a rough 2022, but investors feeling skittish about the e-commerce king should think again. That’s the scoop from portfolio manager Jamie Murray, who just nominated AMZN as one of his Top Picks for the year ahead, pointing to three factors in Amazon’s favour: fundamentals, operations and macro trends, all of which support growth for the company and stock.

With a 51 per cent drop in share price, 2022 was the worst year in over two decades for Amazon, as the market pulled back on growth stocks amid fears of a recession and higher interest rates. That plus scary-looking comps on Amazon’s growth were a problem. The company’s retail business was a clear winner during the first two years of the pandemic, while its cloud computing AWS segment continued to show huge growth as digital transformation across every industry kept up its pace. But notable drops in growth on both ends took place this past year, giving investors more cause to exit the stock.

But Murray argues the fundamentals are supreme, as AMZN is currently trading at 14x EV/EBITDA, and the stock hasn’t been in that territory for about ten years.

Secondly, on the operational side, Murray thinks Amazon’s pandemic-fuelled mistakes in expanding its fulfillment network have now been corrected, and with a rebound expected in retail, the company is setting up well.

“They’ve been rolling that [expansion] back and we’re coming up on top of that one year mark when they really started to get impacted by that drop in spending on durable goods. And so they’re gonna start to lap that at the same time. They’ve made huge progress on consolidating that footprint,” said Murray, head of research at the Murray Wealth Group, who spoke on BNN Bloomberg on Wednesday.

“We have this confluence of factors in the retail side that are going to improve margins and show that Amazon can take a lot of market share over the next two, three years. That’s going to drive big cash flow,” he said.

Finally, Murray said while there has been a slowdown in growth for cloud computing, that industry still has lots of legs, and Amazon is going to benefit for a number of years yet.

“It’s probably in the third or fourth inning of the total transition of cloud computing. There’s still much more innovation that’s going to happen, and Amazon is going to take its share of that type of work and benefit from that. There’s going to be a re-acceleration of AWS revenue growth we think in 2024,” he said.

“And at that time, we think Amazon will be a stock everyone will want to own again, just like three, five years ago,” Murray said.

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