Amazon Prime Day Is Over, But AMZN Stock Is Still a Steal

Amazon Prime Day offered loads of good deals to subscribers, but the best value of all is still available to investors.

Amazon Prime delivery vans
(Image credit: Getty Images) (AMZN, $113.23) Prime Day has come and gone, but investors can still pick up AMZN stock at a deep, deep discount.

Shares are off by 32% for the year-to-date, lagging the broader market by about 13 percentage points. Rising fears of recession and its potential impact on retail spending are partly responsible for the selloff. The market's rotation out of pricey growth stocks and into more value-oriented names is likewise doing AMZN no favors. See the chart below:

AMZN stock Amazon Prime Day

(Image credit: AMZN stock Amazon Prime Day)

True, Amazon is hardly alone when it comes to mega-cap names getting slaughtered in 2022. Where the stock does distinguish itself is in its deeply discounted valuation, and the mass of Wall Street analysts banging the table for it as a screaming bargain buy.

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AMZN's Elite Consensus Recommendation

It's well known that Sell calls are rare on the Street. For different reasons entirely, it's almost equally unusual for analysts (as a group, anyway) to bestow uninhibited praise on a name. Indeed, only 25 stocks in the S&P 500 carry a consensus recommendation of Strong Buy.

AMZN happens to be one of them. Of the 53 analysts issuing opinions on the stock tracked by S&P Global Market Intelligence, 37 rate it at Strong Buy, 13 say Buy, one has it at Hold, one says Sell and one says Strong Sell.

If there is a single point of agreement among the many, many AMZN bulls, it's that shares have been beaten down past the point of reason.

Here's perhaps the best example of that disconnect: At current levels, Amazon's cloud-computing business alone is worth more than the value the market is assigning to the entire company.

Just look at Amazon's enterprise value, or its theoretical takeout price that accounts for both cash and debt. It stands at $1.09 trillion. Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services – the company's fast-growing cloud-computing business – has an estimated enterprise value by itself of $1.2 trillion to $2 trillion, analysts say.

In other words, if you buy AMZN stock at current levels, you're getting the retail business essentially for free. True, AWS and Amazon's advertising services business are the company's shining stars, generating outsized growth rates. But retail still accounts for more than half of the company's total sales.

More traditional valuation metrics tell much the same story with AMZN stock. Shares change hands at 42 times analysts' 2023 earnings per share estimate, according to data from YCharts. And yet AMZN has traded at an average forward P/E of 147 over the past five years.

Paying 42-times expected earnings might not sound like a bargain on the face of it. But then few companies are forecast to generate average annual EPS growth of more than 40% over the next three to five years. Amazon is. Combine those two estimates, and AMZN offers far better value than the S&P 500.

Analysts Say AMZN Is Primed for Outperformance

Be forewarned that as compellingly priced as AMZN stock might be, valuation is pretty unhelpful as a timing tool. Investors committing fresh capital to the stock should be prepared to be patient.

That said, the Street's collective bullishness suggests AMZN investors won't have to wait too long to enjoy some truly outsized returns. With an average target price of $175.12, analysts give AMZN stock implied upside of a whopping 55% in the next 12 months or so.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.