Amazon share price history: how did AMZN perform under Jeff Bezos?

As Jeff Bezos’s resignation date approaches – on July 5 2021 – we take a look back at his tenure as CEO of Amazon, assessing both the share price rises and falls along the way.

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Amazon share price performance under Bezos

Throughout the career of Jeff Bezos, shares of Amazon have earned the second-best returns of all S&P 500 companies. For a 24-year period, AMZN shares have a return for 170,600%, compared to the average returns of 600%.

Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 and went public on the Nasdaq stock exchange three years later on May 14 1997. Shares of AMZN started trading at $18 per share but have since soared by 18,811% to trade at $3,404 per share as of June 28 2021. Three stock splits were carried out in the first two years of listing.

Amazon share price history

Over the years, Amazon shares have had their ups and downs. Here’s a brief timeline of Amazon’s share price history.

Amazon shares and the dot-com crisis

The early years of trading were challenging, due to the dot-com crash which saw AMZN stock lose 90% of its value in two years. Following the crisis, the company’s stock didn’t reach its pre-crash heights as investors continued to fear the lack of long-term profitability – up until 2001, Amazon hadn’t made any profit.

But Bezos was aggressive in his expansion plans following the bubble bursting. He was determined to expand the company’s offering by creating the likes of Amazon Prime, Amazon Web Services and the Kindle.

Amazon shares and the 2008 financial crisis

Following the 2008 financial crisis, quantitative easing programmes provided investors with capital to reinvest in the US stock market, and Amazon was a big recipient of these capital waves thanks to the growing retail offerings and uptick in its consumer base.

Ten years after the crash, in September 2018, Amazon became the second company ever to hit a valuation of $1 trillion – just two months behind Apple.

Amazon shares and the Covid-19 pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, while many other companies’ shares were hit by falling revenues, Amazon saw a huge surge in sales due to lockdown measures causing a rise in online shopping. Amazon saw increases across the board, especially in its grocery delivery service. Amazon stock hit its all-time high of $3,531.45 on September 02, 2020.

Why is Jeff Bezos stepping down as CEO?

Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon’s CEO on July 5 2021 to focus on other projects, such as his trip to space and his charitable efforts. Andy Jassy – the company’s cloud-computing CEO – will be taking over.

Find out more about Andy Jassy.

What will happen to shares of AMZN after Bezos resigns?

According to Nasdaq estimated earnings reports – comprised of data taken from Zacks Investment Research based on 13 analysts’ forecasts – Amazon isn’t in for a rough time following the resignation of Bezos.1

Fiscal Quarter End

Consensus EPS* Forecast

Jun 2021

12.16

Sep 2021

12.81

Dec 2021

14.67

Mar 2022

16.42

Jun 2022

15.97

 





In fact, the consensus EPS forecast for the first quarter under Jassy is $12.81, which is higher than the $12.16 estimated for Bezos’ final quarter. This trajectory is expected to continue over the next few quarters.

This optimism comes after Amazon released Q1 2021 earnings that topped estimates. As a result of Covid-19, Amazon has had a massive increase in the number of firms that no longer want to run their own technology and have turned to Amazon Web Services. Its cloud computing revenue is now up 32% to $13.5 billion from the quarter previously.

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1Nasdaq, 2021


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