Short Sellers Pump the Brakes on Amazon

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) saw its short interest pull back for the most recent settlement date of April 30. The number of shares short in this stock had been building since mid-October, but in this two-week session short sellers slowed down and got a little more cautious.

Some 4.77 million shares were short at the end of the period. That was down from the 5.74 million shares on the prior settlement date. In the same period of last year, 3.44 million shares were shorted.

Note that just six months ago, short interest was only half of where it is now, coming in at 2.51 million shares in October. Also in this same period, Amazon’s stock is down over 2%.

The average daily trading volume for Amazon was 3.40 million shares, which would give short sellers about 1.40 days to cover.

24/7 Wall St. recently reported on Amazon:

Amazon.com … released first-quarter financial results after markets closed Thursday. The e-commerce empire said that it had $15.79 in earnings per share (EPS) and $108.5 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates of $9.54 in EPS and revenue of $104.46 billion. In the same period of last year, Amazon reported EPS of $5.01 and $75.5 billion in revenue.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) revenues increased 32.1% to $13.5 billion, up from $10.2 billion in the same period of last year, with operating income of $4.16 billion.

In its other segments, Amazon reported:

  • North American net sales increased 39.5% to $64.37 billion, with an operating income of $3.45 billion.
  • International sales increased 60.4% to $30.65 billion, with operating income of $1.25 billion.

As for guidance, the company expects to see net sales in the range of $110 billion to $116 billion, with operating income of $4.5 billion to $8.0 billion, in the second quarter. The consensus estimates call for $12.12 in EPS on $116.16 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Excluding Thursday’s move, Amazon.com stock had underperformed the broad markets with a loss of nearly 1% year to date. However, in the past 52 weeks, the share price was up closer to 34%.

Amazon.com stock traded around $3,197 early on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $2,330.00 to $3,554.00. The consensus price target is $4,204.26.

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