Amid frenzied Black Friday consumer buying, in no small part fueled by digital deals, investors pushed Amazon.com Inc. shares to more records and helped Chief Executive Jeff Bezos reportedly become the first person worth $100 billion since the dot-com boom.
Amazon AMZN, +2.58% stock rose 2.6% to $1,186 Friday, closing at a record high for the third consecutive trading session and 10th time since its third-quarter earnings report last month. The stock is up 58% this year, as the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.21% has gained 16%.
Friday’s gains pushed Bezos’ stake in Amazon to a value of about $93 billion, according to FactSet. Adding his Amazon holdings to other investments, Bezos is now worth more than $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and Bloomberg reported it was the first time anyone had passed that mark since Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +0.18% co-founder Bill Gates in 1999. Bezos also owns a stake in rocket company Blue Origin, and bought The Washington Post for $250 million.
Bezos has given away more than $100 million, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Black Friday appeared to be another massive haul for the e-commerce giant. Daniel Ives, head of technology research at BGH Insights, estimated in a note that Amazon was capturing 45% to 50% of the shopping holiday’s online business. He projects that Black Friday sales are on a trajectory to increase about 18% compared with last year, which is on par with e-commerce increases tracked by Adobe Analytics early in the holiday shopping season.
One of the reasons Amazon continues to harvest an outsize portion of U.S. e-commerce spending is its Prime loyalty program, which offers free two-day shipping among a growing list of perks. Ives wrote in a note to clients Friday that his team forecasts a 20% to 25% increase in Prime member spending compared with last year’s holiday season
Ives rates Amazon a buy with a price target of $1,270.
Of the 47 analysts who cover Amazon, 43 have a buy or overweight rating, according to FactSet, with an average price target of $1,252.95. Amazon has missed Wall Street revenue expectations for the December quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season, every year since 2013.