The golden age of streaming is over, that is for sure. For the last several years, the combination of Netflix and Amazon Prime have given consumers a wide array of choices at low prices. However, the streaming space is now fragmenting dramatically as Disney and others take their programming off Netflix and others, making consumers pay for more subscriptions to get the same content. NBC, for instance, just launched its own service, Peacock, for its content. However, it did something quite differently—a lot of the content is free for consumers. You only pay for a premium section of the content, but a bulk of its is free when you sign up. If you are already a Comcast subscriber, the whole thing is free, though it does have limited ads.
FINSUM: This is the first time that a major streaming service decided to be free (outside of Prime Video being free for Prime subscribers). This may change the whole pricing paradigm for the industry.
Yes, Amazon looks expensive and has seen massive gains in recent years. This makes many fearful of the stock. But the reality is that the stock is a free cash flow rocket ship that is going to keep surging higher, according to 47 of the 49 Wall Street analysts who cover it. Amazon trades for 69x 2020 earnings, but it still looks pretty inexpensive on a free cash flow basis. The company’s past growth initiatives are now paying off, which means Amazon is throwing off free cash flow in a big way.
FINSUM: Amazon has averaged a 35% gain per year since it went public. We don’t see any big reasons why it cannot continue this year.
Goldman Sachs just made a highly un-risky and entirely unremarkable call—they contend ecommerce will continue to grow at a good pace. However, within that contention, they also picked three stocks which represent the best way to play that growth. They prefer pure play ecommerce companies, and say that Amazon, Alibaba, and JD.com are the best names to buy in order to benefit from the continued rise of online shopping. According to Goldman, “Pure-play eCommerce companies like Amazon continue to benefit from greater access to consumer data and purchase history that enables not only compelling consumer experiences but also delivers efficiency and competitive benefits”.
FINSUM: These are certainly good ways to play ecommerce, but there are some other good angles too, such as logistics providers or warehousing stocks etc.
Oil took a phenomenal turn lower this week as news came out that half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production had been taken out via drone strikes. Yemeni’s took credit, but many suspect it actually came at the hands of Iran. Oil moved in a big way, up 20% at one point, representing the biggest percentage move in three decades. The drone strike is hugely consequential, as it removed 5% of the world’s daily oil supply. Airlines stocks were hit badly on the news, and Amazon may be the next big victim as higher oil prices mean higher shipping costs.
FINSUM: This big change is going to filter through markets in different ways, but the threat to Amazon seems real and very meaningful.
Amazon’s move towards one-day shipping is likely to be a big win for UPS and FedEx, but not in the way you think. A superficial glance might lead one to assume Amazon is going to increase one-day shipping contracts with the logistics providers, but that is not so. Amazon is building out its own network to do so. So how will it help FedEx and UPS’ beat-up stocks? The answer is that other ecommerce companies will need to increase their shipping speeds in order to better compete with Amazon, and in order to do so, they will be paying for a lot more one-day shipping through UPS and FedEx.
FINSUM: This is quite an interesting angle and one that makes a lot of sense. Walmart, Target, and many other big retailers will need to rely on UPS and FedEx to meet the one-day shipping challenge that will be required to stay competitive with Amazon.