Amazon.com (AMZN 0.64%) has come a long way from the online bookstore it was 20 years ago. Nowadays, the company has not only turned the retail industry upside down with its low-overhead business model, but also made big inroads into new markets such as cloud computing services and digital media subscriptions.
Not known for strong bottom-line earnings, Amazon produced $4.4 billion of free cash flows on revenues of $95.8 billion over the last four quarters. Share prices have more than tripled in five years, gaining 1,160% over the last decade. Resting on a $250 billion market cap, Amazon is no longer a shy underdog but an alpha-dog market leader.
You'd expect a company like that to draw the unblinking attention of industry rivals, clients, and suppliers alike. That's exactly what Amazon has done.
In the last month or so -- in the deep lull between two stormy earnings seasons -- at least 19 executives from businesses not named Amazon have taken the stage at various trade shows and off-season earnings reports only to end up talking about the company.
I have trawled these transcripts to find the most enlightening and investable statements made about Amazon by executives of other companies recently. I settled on nuggets of wisdom from Staples (SPLS), Microsoft (MSFT -1.16%), and Internap (INAP).
Here's what they said, and why investors should pay attention.