Amazon (AMZN) Stock Surges 50% In the Last Year as Revenue Growth, Cloud Business Drive …

It has been a spectacular year for Amazon Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). Shares of the e-commerce giant have surged 55% over the past 12 months, as growth of its cloud computing platform and spectacular top-line performance of its online retail segment suggest there is plenty of room for continued upside.

Amazon shares reached a new all-time high Friday, closing at $772.44. For the week, the stock gained 0.4%.

Whether comparing against Wall Street, the Nasdaq or information technology sector, Amazon has outperformed all of the above by a wide margin over the past 12 months. Amid the continued growth, analysts have speculated about whether the company would introduce its first stock split in nearly 17 years. While Amazon’s top brass have made no mention of this possibility, a stock split could alleviate concerns that the e-commerce giant’s expensive share price.

As it currently stands, only about half a dozen New York-listed companies are more expensive than Amazon. They include Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN) and Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).

Analysts argue that a stock split make Amazon more attractive to retail investors, who probably can’t afford a meaningful stake in the company at its current price. A split would also help streamline its inclusion into the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Amazon’s online retail business is not only outperforming competitors such as eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), it has quickly emerged as a global leader in cloud computing. Commonly referred to as the “next stage in the internet’s evolution,” the cloud delivers computing resources as-a-service, thereby eliminating the need to spend thousands of dollars on software and infrastructure.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s cloud platform, posted revenue growth of 58% during Q2 2016. As data analytics and Internet of Things (IOT) applications continue to grow, AWS is expected to be a key driver of Amazon revenue growth for the foreseeable future. Amazon is currently ranked No. 1 in cloud market share, outpacing technology giants such as Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), IBM (NYSE: IBM), Google and Salesforce (NYSE: CRM).

Given its continued strong performance in both core and emerging businesses, it’s not difficult to see why Amazon is delivering spectacular returns.

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