Amazon rises after a research firm predicted optimistic retail sales

Written by Noel Randwich and Akash Sriram

(Reuters) – Amazon shares rose to their highest in more than two months on Friday after a research firm predicted that the North American online retail heavyweight’s business had beat Wall Street estimates.

Amazon shares rose 3.6% to $107.44, their highest level since February 3, giving the Seattle company a stock market value of $1.1 trillion.

Data compiled by YipitData indicates that Amazon’s net sales in North America in the first quarter of March will beat analysts’ expectations, the research firm told Reuters in an email, and that April sales are also trending ahead of the Wall Street consensus for the second quarter.

North American net sales account for more than half of Amazon’s total revenue, with International Web Services and Amazon Web Services, or AWS, making up the remainder.

As Amazon prepares to report first-quarter results on Thursday of next week, analysts on average see the company’s North American net sales rise 8.5% year-over-year to $75.2 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

New York-based YipitData compiles and analyzes data that tracks the behavior of millions of American consumers, including email receipts, online transactions, application data, and web traffic.

JPMorgan analyst Dough Anmuth wrote in a research note Friday that e-commerce trends were likely “muted” in the first quarter as economic uncertainty weighed on consumer spending.

But Anmuth said he expects e-commerce to make more wins over traditional retailers, penetrating further into groceries, hardware and other categories. Keep Amazon stock as “our best idea”.

Also Thursday, Amazon defeated a private lawsuit in Seattle federal court that accused it of a scheme to stifle competition for shipping and fulfillment services, causing consumers to pay more for purchases in violation of US antitrust law.

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With Friday’s gains, Amazon has recovered more than 30% from its December low. It is still down 42% from its record high close in July 2021.

(Reporting by Noel Randwich; Editing by Jean Harvey)

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