Amazon Stock (AMZN): A Brief History From Seedling to Colossus

Amazon stock has proven to be the biggest success story out of the online retail space. This year they became the second trillion dollar American company and the second most valuable public company in world (behind Apple Inc. for both). However, today they are much more than just an online retailer. Their reach spreads to many different industries and side projects, from digital streaming content to brick-and-mortar stores, and more. Amazon stock has shown reliable growth over its 21-year lifetime as a public company (24 years total). Earnings growth has been especially strong in recent years. Here’s a quick summary of the history of Amazon the company and Amazon stock, from early beginnings to present day.
 
 

Early Amazon: Planting The First Seeds

In 1994, a 30-year old Jeff Bezos quit his Wall Street firm and moves to Seattle to start a company. Like many of its technology brethren (including Apple and Google), Amazon was born in his garage. He selected the name “Amazon” not only for its exotic, rainforest connotation but because an “A” name automatically puts his company towards to the top of any alphabetized list (free marketing!). At first, Amazon started as an online bookstore, and sales were good. In its first two months, Amazon-the-dotcom-bookseller made $20,000 a week. Over the next four years, it will eventually expand its offerings to include a bigger variety of consumer goods, starting with CDs and movies.

 

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[Bezos] selected the name “Amazon” not only for its exotic, rainforest connotation but because an “A” name automatically puts his company towards to the top of any alphabetized list.

 

IPO Launch and Early Days of Amazon Stock

The real history of Amazon stock began on May 15, 1997 when Amazon launched its IPO. The then three-year-old company started its IPO launch at $18 per share under the ticker symbol AMZN.Today, one share is worth almost $2,000! Raising $54 million from going public with Amazon stock, Jeff Bezos put much of the money towards aggressively acquiring competitors like European book retailers Bookpages.co.uk and Telebook, as well as software companies like Livebid.com and database company, Alexa Internet.

Today, one share [of Amazon] is worth almost $2,000!

 

The Dotcom Bubble and Afterwards

When the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, many internet companies folded. Amazon faced some financial hardships and Amazon stock took a hit over the next several years, but ultimately Amazon survived. Survival allowed Amazon to further overcome its competitors in online sales. In fact, 2001, the year after the dotcom bubble burst, marked the year it turned a profit for the very first time.In 2005, Amazon launched Amazon Prime, a subscription-based free shipping program that will later include access to streaming content. In 2007, they launched the Amazon Kindle, an e-reader tablet that allows users to read and purchase books digitally. At $399 a piece, the first batch of Amazon Kindles sold out in five and a half hours!

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Recent Developments for Amazon

Times have never been better for Amazon stock. As their success continued to grow following the launch of the Amazon Kindle, they continue to expand into more and more diverse areas. In 2014 they released the Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled smart speaker that lets users play music, make to-do lists, set alarms, ask for information, and, perhaps most importantly for its creator, make purchases on Amazon! In 2017, Amazon acquired health-conscious grocery store chain, Whole Foods, marking its intended expansion into food delivery and brick-and-mortar. In 2018, they acquired home security company, Ring. This acquisition marks Amazon’s focus towards the ongoing challenge of package-theft. Ring offers doorstep video monitoring that users can access from their phones, and integrates with Amazon Key, which allows couriers to open doors to deliver packages. What else? Amazon is currently testing cashier-less grocery stores in cities like Seattle and Chicago. They now produce exclusive TV content for their streaming service, Amazon Prime Video. Shows include Emmy-winners like Transparent and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

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Right now, the future looks bright for Amazon stock. As of 2017, they reported over 566,000 employers and are currently eyeing a North American city for its second corporate headquarters. In 2018, they dominated the online retail space, securing 44% of all American online shopping dollars. This trillion-dollar company is helping others get rich, too. Around 40% of its sales come from third-party sellers using Amazon to move their products. They also have a referral program that pays commission to affiliates who drive sales traffic. Amazon stock has made steady gains this year, and is currently rated Bullish by the Chaikin Power Gauge stock rating. Earnings performance has been strong recently, price/volume activity is strong, and the stock shows positive expert activity as well.
 

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