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Amazon.....Buy, Sell, or Hold?

Is Amazon a buy, sell, or hold!!! My personal view is that Amazon is way overvalued. It reminds me of sky high valuations many stocks were sporting in early 2000....We all know what happened after that. Disclosure....I do not now or in the past have owned Amazon stock, other than maybe a mutual fund or funds I own may hold a position in it.
Just some of the metrics I find to be sky high:
PE ttm 179.3
PEG ratio (5 years) 6.5
Price to Book 24.12
Total Debt/Equity mrq 99.65
Price/Cash Flow ttm 40.15
Things I find to be too low:
Net profit as % of Revenue ttm 1.81%
Dividend 0%
I tend to be more of a value investor, so I may be missing something in this growth story. I know that plenty of people that may have invested in AMZN in past has most likely made some good money. But, going forward, what is your opinion, buy, sell, or hold and why?
100% AGREE!

Not only is AMZN risky, but TSLA, NFLX, GOOG, and a few other tech stocks as well. To people who lived through the tech bubble of the late 90s, like myself, the scenario seems almost identical. Traders (not investors) are using more risky forms of valuation to justify the prices of these stocks. It appears that production growth and size trump earnings growth. Forward earnings (which are impossible to prove) trump actual earnings. And traders follow the hype more than anything. They actually believe Tesla will be number one in auto production and earnings in a few years. They actually believe that Amazon will not only continue to take more and more away from physical retailers, but also believe they will not have competition. Same goes for some of the others. Since that generation does much of their shopping online, pays Netflix a premium each month, and wishes they will have a Tesla in the future, they think EVERYONE is exactly like them. Now, even if this was true, every one of these companies still faces major hurdles from their competition. I tend to believe these companies only want to grow-grow-grow at ALL COSTS. They appear to be run by short-sighted management who only want to promote the hype about their growth, thus driving up the stock price, and thereby enriching themselves through stock options. They seem to be far less concerned about actual sustainable earnings growth for the long term.

That being said, these stocks are excellent for traders, not investors. A trader who spends lots of time playing the averages, doesn't fear shorting a stock when needed, and has a little luck, can do very well with these. Of course, when the bubble pops, they might lose a good chunk too. For all of these reasons, I don't play with these. I am an investor.

As far as opinion. None of these are a HOLD, too risky. None are a BUY, too expensive. If I couldn't find anything else to trade and was just desperate to jump on the bandwagon, I would SHORT these stocks and wait for the pullback to cover.
We have many similar opinions on this one.....although I don't trade options....I am sure someone with enough expertise in this area could make some $$ shorting these stocks.
We have many similar opinions on this one.....although I don't trade options....I am sure someone with enough expertise in this area could make some $$ shorting these stocks.
[b]budgetslasher Well said[/b].  You are clearly an experienced investor focused on earnings going forward.
Thanks for the reminder to be wary to invest in a stock and not consider the question of competition in the context of  "what's the worst case scenario?"
Even an AMAZON and even a Netflix can be impacted by competition no matter how often I use their services no matter how I like what they do. It's best to me emotionally detached when investing in a company.
It's still a difficult analysis for me re: Netflix since they not only provide great old content like AMAZON but they have  produced some great "NETFLIX" original shows unlike  AMAZON prime and their video service.
Plus Netflix is great at adding the artificial intelligence like since you liked "Foyles War" for instance you will like "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." Both great BTW!
Since you posted this in investing ideas rather than trading ideas, I am going to answer this question as an investment.  I've watched Amazon for over 10 years and all the strategists warned against buying it ... and I've watched Amazon go up and up and up.  Finally, I got tired of waiting and I bought 50 shares a few months ago.  I plan to hold onto it for the next 5, 10 or 20 years.  Basically, if you're going to invest, then ask yourself where this company will be 5 years from now.  I see Amazon growing, growing and growing.  It appears traders love this stock at any multiple, so get some now while it's still under $1000.  I see this stock doubling in 5 years.  And pick up some Visa (V) while you are at it.
why ???  do you hope they bust
I thought this was an investment forum
What's your thinking ..facts ? 
I like Amazon as think they are a great stock for the future ...think their WFM buy will significantly change the food industry
I thought you felt KR would be great
just don't get ya on this ...
...how do their earnings look today ????
They are in an expansion, growth and development mode.  This utilizes their financial resources.  If they allowed their profits to accumulate with a smaller emphasis on this growth, they would have more to show for in the P/E ratio, i.e. it would be lower per less spending/growth as their investments in new lines and activity drain their bottom line.
My own experience with Amazon has been.. buy it on a dip, watch it soar.. sell it off of an incredible run,... regret that decision.. wait a few months and buy on a dip, usually close but a bit higher than the previous sell .. repeat repeat.. this is the short term view and at 1550 I think selling would be totally defend-able... but don't be surprised if they you behind.  If you are looking to buy now, I'd wait for a broad market pullback.
Cramer is now buying at 1475 so ... might be good to stay away... :-)
Long term, Amazon is an investment in a new retail model (no secret there).. and a bunch of other tech ideas that 1) you wonder if a retailer should be doing and 2) does feel a lot like the old tech days.  Amazon does feel a lot like the old tech days, can't deny it.
I wouldn't bet the farm on Amazon, but having them in play at least offers solace when they are turning your value strategies upside down.  I play them as a substitute for my Consumer Discretionary sector (I also own a sector ETF to balance)  ...I am coming from a perspective of having owned them and am now "playing with house money" on them.  They've definitely added alpha.
If new to them I think the question of "is it too late" is valid.  And I have no idea on that front.  Their PE has been high for a very long time and their growth has never failed to deliver.  Tough call from a value perspective (or easy depending on your confidence level).
Hope this helps.
if you look at Amazon since inception it has maintained high PE ratios and often not demonstrated profits. PE in the late 90s was upwards of 400 and the stock value as low as 1.98 per share. What if you put 50,000.00 into Amazon in 1999?

The stocks performance amounts to about 10% per year over decades. Over the past few months its up substantially more. Its at least a hold and in a dollar cost averaging sense a buy.

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