So as it turns out, Rick's and my views aren't terribly far apart in this Amazon.com
I said : "Good as Amazon's business is, the shares are simply overpriced. By all means, buy this great business -- but not now. Wait until its shares have descended from the stratosphere."
Rick replied: "Amazon is huge ... If you're not won over by the stock's current valuation, just wait around until many of its margin-pumping initiatives gain traction."
To ensure that there's no mistaking our positions, Rick is saying that Amazon.com is such a great business today that you should buy the stock now and hold onto it -- the stock will eventually be worth what you paid for it. And I'll go him one better: One day, Amazon.com at $44 per share will be an out-and-out bargain.
But today is not that day.
Give the analysts the benefit of the doubt (a benefit that they do not, in fact, deserve after having grossly overestimated Amazon's ability to grow earnings this year) and assume that Amazon can grow at 21% per annum. At that rate, in a little over three years, Amazon will be fairly priced. Its free cash flow will be 1/21x its market capitalization, and its stock will be worth buying. (Assuming, of course, that the company is still growing at 21%).
Amazon owners have already endured 52 weeks of waiting, watching as Amazon's stock sat like a bump on a log despite a 9% rise in the S&P 500. The question that you, the potential investor, must ask yourself is this: Do I want to overpay today and sit on dead money for another three years, waiting for Amazon's profits to catch up to its share price?
I say vote "nay."
Wait! You're not done. This is just a quarter of the Duel! Don't miss the Bull and Bear opening arguments and the Bull rebuttal. Even when you're done, you're still not done. You can vote and let us know who you think won this Duel.