Exclusive update by Joe Magyer
Amazon is riding high into the holiday season after a strong Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. Amazon's Kindle device sales more than doubled and, per comScore, the site's traffic grew at a faster rate than the online offerings of rivals Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, and Apple. Online retail had a great quarter at-large, but all signs point to Amazon gobbling up even more share of the growing online retail pie.
Lost in the Cyber Monday buzz was Amazon's first foray into the debt markets since 1998. While I have a general aversion to technology companies taking on debt, I can't begrudge Amazon for taking advantage of today's historically low rates. The company issued $3 billion in bonds that will mature between 2015 and 2022 on absurdly favorable terms. The yield on the 10-year bonds is only 2.5% — a lower rate than I'd extend to my grandmother. I wouldn't touch these bonds with a 10-foot pole, but as a shareholder I welcome such a low-cost source of funding. Bottom line: Amazon is still a Buy.