Up until recently, a single share of e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN -0.68%) cost as much as $2,447, and investors needed to fork out about $2,235 to buy one share of Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL 0.95%) (GOOG 0.97%). Those lofty prices were a barrier for smaller investors who wanted to own pieces of these iconic tech giants.
But both companies chose to execute 20-for-1 stock splits a few months ago, which increased the number of their shares in circulation by 20 times and shrunk their stock prices in proportion. It hasn't changed the underlying value of either company, but now one full share of Amazon can be purchased for just $127, and a share of Alphabet for $107.
It's a win for investors working with smaller amounts of money. Here's why dividing $2,000 between Amazon and Alphabet stock now could lead to long-term gains.
The case for Amazon
Innovation is the key to survival for any company over the long term, and Amazon has that in spades. Most consumers associate the Amazon brand with e-commerce, and, while that still makes up the majority of its revenue, it's merely one of several industries in which the company is active.
Just last month Amazon elected to shut down its enterprise healthcare start-up Amazon Care after it failed to offer the depth many of its larger customers needed in a long-term solution. It's likely to be replaced by the company's announced $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical parent company 1life Healthcare (NASDAQ: ONEM), which is a more complete solution. That simply highlights Amazon's fearlessness when it comes to entering new industries -- the company rarely allows failure to act as a barrier to its forward progress.
That's how it ended up with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which now sits at the top of the entire cloud services industry with $72 billion in revenue over the last four quarters, and the most complete set of solutions of any provider. And, remarkably, AWS is also responsible for all of Amazon's operating income over the same period. Then there's the company's Prime streaming platform, which just produced the new The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series. And don't forget Amazon's advertising business, which has generated $33.9 billion in revenue over the last year.
Together, Amazon's businesses are expected to produce more than half a trillion dollars in revenue for the company during calendar year 2022.
Don't expect its bets on the future to stop anytime soon, either. Amazon owns roughly 18% of aspiring electric vehicle producer Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ: RIVN), which has impacted its bottom-line results recently, but that's often the temporary price of relentless innovation. With so many different revenue streams and a dominant footprint across multiple industries, Amazon stock is one of the best an investor can own for the long run.
The case for Alphabet
Like Amazon, Alphabet has a portfolio of diverse business segments that are dominating in their respective industries. The company is led by Google, which, of course, is responsible for the leading online search engine globally with a 92% market share. But the Google brand has expanded beyond its roots, and now lends itself to a range of hardware products like the Pixel smartphone and the Nest series of home devices, among other things.
Google Cloud -- Alphabet's answer to Amazon Web Services -- might be the most promising emerging opportunity. It provides a range of cloud services to business customers that can help them migrate their operations online, from simple data storage to advanced machine learning tools. Google Cloud is ranked third in the industry, but its 35% revenue growth in the recent second quarter (ended June 30) did outpace AWS's 33%, so it's slowly making up ground.
The other exciting piece of Alphabet's business is YouTube, which has been chasing down ByteDance's TikTok, the short-form video platform that has become the fastest-growing mobile app in history. YouTube released "Shorts" two years ago in response to TikTok, and it has already amassed 1.5 billion monthly active users, which puts it on par with its new rival. Over time, this could be an explosive advertising opportunity for YouTube as short-form content continues to grow in popularity, especially among young audiences.
Alphabet as a whole is expected to deliver $298 billion in revenue this year according to analysts' estimates. Plus, based on its $5.37 in earnings per share over the last four quarters, Alphabet stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.1, which is actually about 19% cheaper than the broader tech market now, represented by the Nasdaq-100 index. That spells opportunity for investors, especially those deploying small amounts of money thanks to Alphabet's recent stock split.