The RiverPark Large Growth Fund recently published its Q1 investor letter (you can download a copy here). The letter included the fund’s comments about Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and other companies. Amazon is one of the favorite stocks of RiverPark, which believes that President Donald Trump’s tweets don’t present “a substantial risk of any material near term disruption to Amazon’s business prospects” and the online retailing giant “has the opportunity to significantly expand its profitability over time.” The fund trimmed its position the e-commerce giant on strength during the quarter yet it remains a top 10 holding in its portfolio. In this article, we’re going to take a look at RiverPark’s comments about Amazon.
Here is everything that RiverPark said about Amazon in the letter:
AMZN shares had a strong first quarter, up 24%, as the company continues to generate impressive growth across both its consumer franchise and its web services divisions. In its North America retail division, the company reported sales of over $37 billion (year-over-year growth of more than 42%) with operating margins of 4.5% (well ahead of Street expectations of only 3% and the highest quarterly margin of the past 4 years). In addition, the company’s Amazon Web Services division experienced an acceleration of growth to 45% year-over-year with operating margins of 26.5% (growth of nearly 100 basis points from the previous quarter). While Amazon continues to invest heavily to drive its market leading positions in both businesses and in all geographic regions, the company’s ability to exceed profit expectations as well as generate strong sales growth was particularly well-received by the market.
As the leader in both global e-commerce (marketing research firm eMarketer estimates that Amazon will command 44% of e-commerce sales this year, compared with 38% last year) and cloud computing, Amazon remains extremely well positioned for years of continued strong growth. The company continues to invest heavily in maintaining its leadership – not only in retail and web services, but also in fulfillment centers, video content, marketing, Echo/Alexa, and nascent geographies (such as India). With its core divisions continuing to be innovation and market share leaders in rapidly growing industries, we believe sales will continue to grow in excess of 20% per year for the foreseeable future. Although operating and capital expenditures will cycle through periods of higher and lower growth as the company presses its leadership, we believe the company has the opportunity to significantly expand its profitability over time, which can then generate a dramatic increase in excess free cash flow.
While talking about President Trump’s negative tweets about Amazon, RiverPark said:
There is certainly some increased likelihood that Amazon’s regulatory and/or tax burden could increase in the months to come but, as we currently see it, the president’s ire appears more personal (Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, which has been critical of the president) than actually targeted at Amazon’s core business model.
Besides RiverPark, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is also a favorite stock among hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey. According to our database, 136 funds were holding AMZN in their portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, including Tybourne Capital Management, Antipodean Advisors, and Whale Rock Capital Management.
In latest Amazon news, CNBC reported that the e-commerce giant’s cloud computing unit is teaming up with new start-up Kaleido to make it easier for customers to use blockchain. “Introducing Kaleido to AWS customers is going to help customers move faster and not worry about managing blockchain themselves,” Amazon Web Services said in a statement, as quoted by CNBC. In addition, citing a company statement, Reuters reported that Amazon is going to launch its grocery store without checkout lines in Chicago and San Francisco. The checkout-free shopping technology by Amazon has the potential to disrupt the brick-and-mortar retailing. Meanwhile, a report from J.P. Morgan suggests that Amazon could match Walmart sales domestically within the next two to three years, as reported by CNBC. According to the bank’s analysis, Amazon’s U.S. gross merchandise volume is set to match Walmart’s net U.S. sales by 2020 or 2021.