Weak Amazon, Alphabet results ignite growth worries

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Shares of Amazon.com Inc dropped by the most in four years on Friday after its outlook for holiday season sales missed targets, fanning concerns that Wall Street’s tech darlings are finally starting to face stronger competition.

The third-quarter results were the second time running that billionaire Jeff Bezos’ firm had fallen short of sales targets and, allied to a similar disappointment from Google-owner Alphabet, they sent a shockwave through stock markets.

There were no ratings downgrades from the Wall Street analysts who have almost universally backed the companies’ long-term prospects but several said there were signs that both were beginning to face tougher competition from tech peers as well as the retail companies Amazon has bullied in recent years.

The fall of as much as 9 percent in shares knocked more than $80 billion off Amazon’s market value and relegated it behind Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc in terms of market value.

Now that the Seattle-based firm has devoured retail players like Borders, Sears and Toys ‘R’ Us, it is facing bigger challenges from multinationals who are making substantial investments to compete, D.A. Davidson & Co analyst Thomas Forte said.

“Google, Microsoft, and Walmart … are more difficult to kill,” he said.

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