This Stock Has Made Far More Millionaires

There are many similarities between Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). They’re both e-commerce superstars that excel at their unique businesses and lead the industry. They’ve both minted many millionaires and remain popular with investors.

Shopify is the newer, shiner stock, and it’s gained almost 3,000% since its initial public offering. Amazon has increased about 730% at the same time, but it’s gained a whopping 184,000% since going public, a figure so large it’s hard to contemplate.

Newer isn’t necessarily better. Amazon stock has outpaced Shopify over the past year and is up 19% so far in 2024 while Shopify stock has remained flat year to date. Shopify could still have lots of potential, but Amazon is a reliable winner with plenty of opportunity.

The world is Amazon’s oyster

Amazon is the leader in two of the biggest and fastest-growing industries in the world, e-commerce and cloud computing. E-commerce is growing as a percentage of retail sales, and Amazon benefits from that more than any other company on the planet, because it’s responsible for almost 40% of all U.S. e-commerce sales. It’s solidifying its lead and making sure no one else can get anywhere close by speeding up deliveries and offering more products than available anywhere else, making it the retailer of choice for its hundreds of millions of Prime members.

E-commerce remains its core business and brings in more revenue than its other segments. But Amazon Web Services (AWS) is equally important for two reasons: It contributes more than half of operating income despite only accounting for a mid-teens percentage of revenue (14% in the fourth quarter), and it has a massive market opportunity. It had been growing much faster than the overall business, but sales growth has decelerated as clients shrink spend in the inflationary environment. Management sees this beginning to change, and it has been making new deals with large clients like Merck and Hyundai.

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Amazon is using artificial intelligence (AI) in all of its businesses, but the potential for generative AI for AWS is…

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