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Why Amazon Stock Popped on Thursday

By Danny Vena – Nov 18, 2021 at 1:53PM

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Some love from Wall Street and a groundbreaking partnership sent shares of the e-commerce kingpin higher.

What happened

Shares of Amazon (AMZN -8.43%) climbed higher on Thursday, adding as much as 3.7%. As of 1:43 p.m. ET, the stock was up 3.4%.

In separate news reports, investors learned that Amazon had been named a top stock for 2022 and that in was partnering with Starbucks (SBUX -4.44%) on a concept store, using Amazon's "Just Walk Out" technology.

So what

Amazon stock is poised to outperform next year after having a tough time in 2021. So says Goldman Sachs analyst Eric Sheridan, who named Amazon a "top pick" among U.S. internet stocks for 2022.

A woman pulling a credit card from her purse while sitting in front of a laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

While the company has lagged many of its technology and FAANG stock peers so far this year, Amazon is set to lap tough comps from last year and will benefit from resurging growth in cloud computing, e-commerce, and digital advertising, according to Sheridan.

Tough comps and the end of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have weighed on Amazon, as e-commerce growth spurred by the pandemic decelerated. Sheridan said Amazon remains a buy, giving the stock a $4,100 price target, which represents gains of roughly 16% for investors over the course of the coming year.

On an unrelated note, Starbucks announced in a press release that a new Starbucks Pickup Store in New York City was opening today, outfitted with Amazon Go technology. The concept store "integrates the digital and physical retail experience, bringing together the connection and comfort of a Starbucks café and convenience of Amazon Go's Just Walk Out shopping experience."  

Now what

Starbucks is the highest-profile user yet to employ Amazon's groundbreaking technology.

The e-commerce giant introduced its cashierless shopping system in an employee-only convenience store on its campus in late 2016, before debuting the technology to the public in 2018. Customers access the store using the Amazon app, and the system uses artificial intelligence, computer vision, and a host of sensors and cameras to track the shopper's progress, running a virtual register tape, and charging their account when they leave the store -- without the need to ever stand in a checkout line. This could represent a $50 billion opportunity for Amazon and a lucrative new revenue stream.  

A few well-chosen words by Wall Street didn't hurt either.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Danny Vena owns shares of Amazon and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Starbucks. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1,920 calls on Amazon, short January 2022 $1,940 calls on Amazon, and short October 2021 $120 calls on Starbucks. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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