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Why One Analyst Says This Second-Wave Play Could See 17% Upside In The Near-Term

Why One Analyst Says This Second-Wave Play Could See 17% Upside In The Near-Term

As coronavirus cases surge higher, this analyst says one stock stands to benefit.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been surging higher amid the pandemic as shoppers flock to the e-commerce giant for its one-day shipping and grocery delivery.

The stock is up just over 56% so far this year and just closed out its with straight week of gains, marking is longest winning streak in its history. 

Amazon shares have seen a slew of upgrades in the last two weeks as analysts hustle to raise their financial forecasts and price targets for the stock to reflect its strength in both e-commerce and cloud computing. 

“COVID-19 catalyzed a faster transition to e-commerce, which we believe is here to stay,” wrote SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Youssef Squali—who rates the stock a Buy and boosted his price target from $2,700 to $3,400—in a note last week. “Amazon acquired brand-new customers to the platform, and who are likely to stick. [And] Amazon’s NPS [Net Promotor Score] is the best amongst peers, with the vast majority of customers expecting to at least sustain, if not increase their purchase frequency post pandemic.”

This week, Monness Crespi Hardy analyst Brian White reiterated his Buy rating on the stock, raising his price target from $2,800 to a Street-high of $3,500 – 17.6% higher than the price as of this writing. 

White presented a new reason to own Amazon shares, pointing to a second-wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We believe the recent expansion of this COVID-19 crisis across a larger swath of the U.S. has thrown the market a curveball and we doubt it will be the last surprise as this invisible enemy ravages the planet in the most nefarious and unpredictable of ways,” White wrote in a note. 

Last weekend, the U.S. surpassed 10 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and nearly every day this week has come with a record number of new cases. As outbreaks surge across the country, states are pausing or rolling back reopening plans and people are people are beginning to retreat back to their homes.

“In this new reality, we believe Amazon holds the key capabilities, vast global infrastructure and financial strength necessary to support the needs of people and organizations around the world, while also positioning the company as a major beneficiary of accelerated digital transformation that we expect will be ushered in with the aftermath of this pandemic, driving greater use of e-commerce, the cloud and emerging tech.”

White added that Amazon “continues to invest in next-gen tech to expand its reach as evidenced by last week’s agreement to acquire Zoox in the world of autonomous vehicles.”

The deal for Yoox will help bring its “vision of autonomous ride-hailing to reality,” Amazon said. 

“Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a wold-class autonomous ride-hailing experience,” said Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO of global consumer. “Like Amazon, Zoox is passionate about innovation and about its customers, and we’re excited to help the talented Zoox team to bring their vision to reality in the years ahead.”

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