Monday, September 29, 1997

Amazon.com
(Nasdaq: AMZN)
Phone: 206-622-2335
Website: http://www.amazon.com
Price (9/26/97): $50

HOW DID IT DOUBLE?

Once upon a time there was an upstart bookseller
Selling texts from the Web -- discounts, fast, now that's clever.
Where poetry and prose of higher caliber than this
Can be bought with a click, have you checked out their list?

As "Earth's Biggest Bookstore" they proudly proclaim
2.5 million titles, yet some skeptics remain.
More sponsors! More patrons! The company did grow
And since then has doubled from its summer low.

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

This company hails from Seattle
And so far is winning the Internet battle.
It targets the literate and wired reader,
By selling lots of books, it is the Web leader.

FINANCIAL FACTS

Income Statement
12-month sales: $56.5 million
12-month income: ($14.4 million)
12-month EPS: ($0.61)
Profit Margin: N/A
Market Cap: $1180 million

Balance Sheet
Cash: $47.7 million
Current Assets: $59.2 million
Current Liabilities: $17.4 million
Long-term Debt: $0.2 million

Ratios
Price-to-earnings: N/A
Price-to-sales: 20.9

HOW COULD YOU HAVE FOUND THIS DOUBLE?

Despite all the hype that accompanied the rise,
The company was a relentless deal-making device
It sought out the search engines, come Yahoo! Excite,
Commissioned link references, they would all have a bite.

Like Kasey Kasem they followed the hits,
If there were an audience, a booklink would sit.
Its fame also works to grow sales -- it's contagious;
Sponsors want to rent space on Amazon's pages

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

The investors ecstatic, the cap billionaire,
So much potential, yet buyer beware.
If it's true on the Web, that the playing field is level,
What about peers? Competitors are several.

With Internet prospects the heavies are gunning
Barnes & Nobles now here and Borders is coming.
So while the potential is sky high in the air
Even bulls will agree that the pie will be shared.

While it is true Amazon.com was first
Will pricing be pressured, will margins reverse?
Despite all the talk of economies of scale,
It won't matter much if the others hold sales.

But is there time yet for a happy ending?
A plug to the leak of the money it's spending.
Steep losses expected both this year and next,
It takes black ink, not red ink, to make a great text.

But sales are exploding, and one day tomorrow
When revenues soar, maybe earnings will follow.
Abacus in hand, we meet pad and pencil
When promise is stripped, in its place fundamentals.

- Rick Aristotle Munarriz, tmfedible@aol.com


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