Here's Why Amazon Stock Was Up 27% in July, Beating the Market

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What happened

Shares of Amazon (AMZN 0.33%) were up 27.1% in July, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. This handily beat the 9.1% return for the S&P 500. It seems investors celebrated strength in the titan’s e-commerce operations. However, in my opinion, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was once again the main star of the show.

So what

Amazon stock only slightly outperformed the S&P 500 for most of the month. It wasn’t until July 28 when it reported financial results for the second quarter of 2022 that Amazon stock decisively pulled ahead.

On July 14, Amazon announced it had its biggest Prime Day event ever. The two-day sales event for members sold an impressive 300 million items. It’s a testament to Amazon Prime’s ongoing strength. And Amazon stock performed well following this announcement.

While e-commerce is an important part of Amazon’s story, it’s not the most exciting part of the business. Both Amazon’s North America and international segments recorded operating losses in Q2, of $627 million and $1.77 billion respectively. The rising cost of infrastructure and logistics contributed to these operating losses.

However, thanks to AWS, Amazon still had positive operating income in Q2. By itself, the cloud-computing service had operating income of $5.7 billion. The segment also enjoyed terrific revenue growth, up 33% year over year to $19.7 billion.

Moreover, AWS’s growth story isn’t over. Amazon is constantly announcing new products, features, and availability for its profit driver. For example, on July 12, the company announced new capabilities for serverless analytics — something that could be extremely valuable for companies dealing with outsize datasets. 

Now what

Amazon has a market capitalization of nearly $1.4 trillion as of this writing. And the challenge for a company this size is meaningful growth. But it’s clear that management has ideas.

On July 6, Just Eat Takeaway.com announced that it had partnered with Amazon to make Grubhub+ free for one year for Amazon Prime members. Just Eat Takeaway.com gets a substantial potential boost to its membership and the companies have the option of extending the deal every year. But for Amazon, its Prime members get free deliveries on food from Grubhub+ — a perk that might help it grow its membership base even more.

Of course, the bigger growth possibility came on July 21 when Amazon announced it was acquiring healthcare company 1Life Healthcare, often called One Medical, for $3.9 billion. This isn’t the first time Amazon has flirted with the healthcare space. One Medical is a primary care company that allows both in-office appointments and telehealth services, which could be where the healthcare industry is going. 

Amazon certainly has the resources to make this large acquisition of One Medical. It only costs around 11% of Amazon’s cash on its balance sheet. However, only time will tell if this will be a fruitful acquisition. 

One thing’s for sure: Even if Amazon struggles to make its way in the multitrillion-dollar global healthcare space, it will relentlessly keep searching for growth any way it can.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Jon Quast has positions in Amazon. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool recommends Just Eat Takeaway.com N.V. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.