Amazon shares breach US$1,000 for the first time
Shares of Amazon.com surged above US$1,000 (RM4,282) for the first time yesterday, marking another milestone in the rise of the American online retail giant.
Near 14.10GMT, the company’s shares were selling at US$997.97, up 0.2 per cent after earlier getting as high as US$1,001.20. Amazon’s market capitalisation stood at about US$478 billion, more than twice that of Wal-Mart Stores.
After going in public in May 1997 at US$18 a share, Amazon has benefited from tectonic shifts in US technology and consumer shopping habits that are expected to continue to remake the retail industry.
The company has evolved from its origins as an online bookseller into a broad-based retailer of apparel and household staples, from electronics to sausage casing. And with its “Prime” subscription service, it also has become a creative force in Hollywood and beyond.
Online sales currently comprise about eight per cent of the US retail market. Amazon alone accounts for about 43 per cent of US online sales, according to consultancy Slice Intelligence.
E-commerce is expected to grow between eight and 12 per cent this year, according to the National Retail Federation, about three times as much as the rest of the industry, which has faced massive store and mall closures.
Amazon, whose revenues grew to US$35.7 billion in the first quarter, also has impressed Wall Street by laying out a plan to achieve greater profitability.
The surge above US$1,000 a share also raises questions about whether Amazon intends to pursue a stock split.
The company had three previous stock splits, in June 1998 and in January and August 1999.
Amazon currently is the fourth biggest company by market capitalization after Apple, Google parent Alphabet and Microsoft.