Amazon Owns 2009

The leading online retailer understands the opportunity and urgency of the moment.

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) issued a press release last night, in which it announced that it's offering free, two-day expedited shipping on orders of its popular Kindle e-book reader. It also revealed that the device just broke its monthly sales record.

The last point is a somewhat hollow claim. Amazon has never revealed actual sales metrics, so it's as if CEO Jeff Bezos merely said he ate at the best sushi restaurant last night. Unless we know how many sushi joints he's checked out over the years, the praise lacks context.

Amazon's last-minute push, with its free expedited shipping offer, is noteworthy, though. The e-tailer realizes that it essentially has the market cornered this holiday season. Barnes & Noble's (NYSE: BKS  ) Nook is running into supply-chain problems, and although Sony's (NYSE: SNE  ) Reader has the tenure and the pedigree, it's just lacking the buzz.

Amazon knows that it has to push as many Kindle devices into gift boxes this month as possible, because 2010 promises to be far more competitive. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) appear ready to dive into the tablet market next year, when they're likely to introduce a new way for book buffs to consume the written word.

Kindle broke new ground in 2007 and educated the marketplace in 2008, and 2009 appears to be the year of market-share grab. It will only get harder from here for the $259 device, especially if flashy tablets or a critic-pleasing Nook update force buyers into considering all of the potential e-book devices available.

Live it up, Amazon. This may be the Kindle's last big feast.

Will Amazon be more popular in 2010 than it is right now? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Apple and Amazon.com are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Dell is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been shopping online for about as long as Amazon.com has been in business. He owns a Kindle, but he doesn't own shares in any of the companies in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (12)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 19, 2009, at 2:42 PM, plange01 wrote:

    amazon did fairly well but the season is now over a strong sell on amazon.after the light holiday spending its back to the reality that the US is already ending its first year in a depression since the 1930's and its about to get out of control.....

  • Report this Comment On December 19, 2009, at 5:29 PM, greenwave3 wrote:

    Amazon is a strong retailer, but the valuation is excessive, and the comments about the "sales record" are merely an attempt to push this bloated stock even higher.

  • Report this Comment On December 19, 2009, at 10:01 PM, plange01 wrote:

    the now close to year old depression in the US is about to get out of control.holiday shopping numbers are so bad they cant be covered up and retails with start dropping early in 2010....

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2009, at 10:59 AM, Melaschasm wrote:

    I would not be surprised if Amazon has somewhere near 18% year over year sales and profit growth for 2009.

    I expect Amazon will be able to maintain an annual growth rate over 15% for the next 5 years.

    Today's stock price assumes Amazon will meet or exceed my predictions. If you are interested in owning Amazon, it would be safer to buy after a dip in the stock price.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2009, at 1:08 PM, A6EIntruder wrote:

    Was this about Amazon owning 2009, or Kindle owning 2009?

    I do agree that this is the Kindle's last big feast. To stay relevant in an increasingly crowded marketplace, Kindle must:

    1. Open to support formats other than proprietary AMZN ones

    and

    2. Continue to improve the basic hardware (speed, screen size, refresh rate, etc.)

    There will always be those who are willing to buy a device that locks them into exclusively Amazon-provided content, but those numbers are dwindling. A newer, younger, tech-savvier generation is coming and will see through that business play. Kindle's had its cake and eaten it, now it will have to making the same have/eat choice that every one else does.

    Still, this isn't to knock the company. The exclusive format was a good play for the short run. I'd have made the same decision, would that I'd been Bezos...

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