Fri, 22 Sep 2023

LONDON, 5th August, 2023 (WAM) -- closed up more than 8 percent on Friday on signs that its growth engines, e-commerce and cloud-computing, were faring well in an uncertain economy, helping shield the broader market from Apple's 4.8 percent slide after gloomy iPhone sales, Reuters reported.

The reports capped what has been a positive earnings season for most big U.S. tech firms from Google-owner Alphabet to Meta, thanks to a pick-up in the digital ad market and improving demand for cloud services after a nearly year-long slump.

Amazon's shares closed at a near one-year high and added more than US$109 billion to its market value, the Reuters news article highlighted, noting that Apple, the world's most valuable firm, fell to a more than one-month low and lost around US$144 billion in value as of Friday's close.

The better-than-expected performance of Amazon's cloud business in the second quarter also lifted other members of the coveted trillion-dollar club, with Microsoft and Alphabet both rising more than 2 percent.

Wall Street analysts said Amazon's estimate-beating quarterly profit and sales showed that both its key businesses can grow together after two years of "unpleasant surprises".

"The second quarter is a game-changing quarter for Amazon; we would call it an-all clear moment," Reuters quoted SVB MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Morton as saying.

At least 26 analysts - nearly half those covering the stock - raised their price targets on Amazon, pushing the median view to US$170, according to Refinitiv data. That's an upside of nearly 32 percent to Amazon shares that have already risen almost 50 percent this year.

The surge in Amazon's stock reflected analysts' increased estimates for its earnings. At US$139.57, the stock was valued at 47 times 2024 consensus earnings per share, down from 50 on Thursday, according to updated estimates tracked by Refinitiv.

At Friday's closing price of US$181.99, Apple was valued at about 27.6 times fiscal 2024 consensus earnings per share.

The iPhone maker warned on Thursday that it was headed for a fourth straight quarter of declining sales as demand continues to slow for its flagship device, especially in developed markets.

But its services business was a bright spot and helped Apple top profit expectations for the June quarter.

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