As the Nasdaq Composite Index, which plunged 33% in 2022, tries to claw back its losses, there are some potentially lucrative opportunities to take advantage of right now. While waiting on the sidelines until the market starts to rebound and the economic picture is more certain might seem like the right strategy, investors are going to regret not buying on the dip. That’s because cheaper valuations translate to higher potential returns, all else equal.
One growth stock in particular that deserves your attention is Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), whose shares are down 30% over the past 12 months, despite being up 20% in 2023 (as of this writing). Here’s why there’s no question that this e-commerce and cloud-computing giant should be in everyone’s portfolio.
Think about the bigger picture
There’s no doubt that Amazon is facing some headwinds right now. Following a pandemic-fueled surge in 2020, the business is seeing sales growth slow down. In the third quarter of 2022 (ended Sept. 30), revenue was up 14.7% year over year, which missed Wall Street’s expectations. Difficult comparisons, a softer macroeconomic backdrop, and normalization of consumer behavior deserve the blame.
With the top line decelerating, Amazon’s profitability is getting squeezed. Through the first nine months of 2022, the business posted an operating margin of 2.6% versus 6.4% in the same period in 2021. Inflationary pressures that are hitting consumers are also negatively impacting Amazon.
However, CEO Andy Jassy has relentlessly focused on cutting costs to eliminate the bloat that Amazon added over the past few years, as well as pausing hiring and trimming capital expenditures in the face of a possible recessionary scenario. This should soothe any worries in 2023.
While it’s extremely easy to get caught up in the near-term noise when it comes to any of the stocks that investors own, I urge readers to keep their attention on the bigger picture and the long-term opportunity for their companies, including Amazon.
Taking a step back, we will see just how dominant of an enterprise it really is. According to Statista, Amazon commanded 38% of all online shopping in the U.S. Because e-commerce is only 15% of all retail shopping domestically, this translates to a tremendous growth opportunity in the decade ahead.
Then there’s the burgeoning cloud segment, Amazon Web Services (AWS), which was able to increase revenue 27% in Q3 on an annual basis, with an operating margin of 26%. AWS has a huge lead in the industry, with Microsoft Azure and Alphabet‘s Google Cloud Platform trailing behind. Even if Amazon cedes some market share to competitors over time, it should still be able to generate hundreds of billions in annual sales from this segment in the future.
Another lucrative — but likely lesser-known — business line is digital advertising. At an annual revenue run rate of almost $40 billion, Amazon is rapidly taking share from Google and Meta Platforms, who have proven how profitable this segment can really be. This provides another bottom-line lever for Amazon to pull in the years ahead.
It’s strikingly clear that this is one of the most impressive businesses in the world, with multiple ways to not only boost revenue, but expand margins as well. There’s a lot for shareholders to get excited about.
Take advantage of the valuation
Since hitting an all-time high of $186.12 in July 2021, Amazon’s stock has fallen 46% (as of Jan. 30). While the company has been dealing with a post-pandemic slowdown, as well as other issues, a lot of the blame for the stock’s decline can be attributed to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive tightening of monetary policy. Rising interest rates pummeled valuations of tech stocks in particular, and Amazon wasn’t spared.
And despite the fact that shares are already up 20% this year, they currently trade at a price-to-sales ratio of just over 2, which is about 33% cheaper than the company’s trailing-10-year average valuation. That’s quite a sizable discount that investors should quickly take advantage of.
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Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Neil Patel has positions in Alphabet, Amazon.com, and Meta Platforms. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet, Amazon.com, Meta Platforms, and Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.