With e-commerce growth already strong and poised to accelerate in the U.S., and the AI revolution likely to greatly boost spending on cloud infrastructure, now is a superb time to buy Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock.
Moreover, Amazon is expanding its footprint in the American healthcare sector, indicating the conglomerate believes it can build a huge, profitable healthcare business. The firm’s apparent optimism about its future in the space strengthens my own, long-held belief that Amazon can eventually become a healthcare juggernaut.
E-Commerce Growth Is Strong and Likely to Accelerate
According to a July report by FTI Consulting (NYSE:FCN), the revenue of the U.S. e-commerce sector is likely to increase 10% this year. What’s more, 42% of the total growth of the retail sector is likely to be generated by e-commerce vendors.
While FTI expects e-commerce sales growth to plateau around 10% at best, and Forrester implies that the space’s growth will decelerate, I disagree with their forecasts for two main reasons. First, as I’ve noted in past columns, I expect the U.S. labor market to remain strong, causing consumers’ overall spending to continue climbing meaningfully.
And secondly, as I’ve also pointed out previously, the amount of money Americans are spending on travel is dropping. In July, “Total travel spending remained at 1.2% above last year’s levels for the third month in a row,” the U.S. Travel Association reported. If inflation is factored into the equation, that increase actually constitutes a significant decline.
And with “revenge travel” likely to wane even further in the months and quarters ahead, Americans will have more money to spend on e-commerce, causing the sector’s growth to accelerate and lifting AMZN stock in the process.
AI and Healthcare Impacts for AMZN Stock
As I wrote in a previous column, “the proliferation of AI will greatly boost spending on cloud infrastructure…because AI relies on the large-scale infrastructure offered by massive cloud service providers” — called hyperscalers, as per Voya Financial (NYSE:VOYA).
In other words, creating AI requires a great deal of data, and such large amounts of data can, for the most part, only be stored in the cloud.
On the healthcare front, the chief medical officer of Amazon’s telehealth and primary healthcare service — One Medical — and the senior VP of Amazon Health Services, recently told Forbes the firm was looking to offer more services within One Medical’s current markets. Noting that 40% of Americans do not have a primary care provider, the pair said they believe Amazon can play a meaningful, positive role in the American healthcare system.
It appears the centerpiece of Amazon’s healthcare strategy, from a business standpoint, involves providing drugs at a much lower cost than elsewhere.
Given the huge layers of middlemen and the tremendous amount of unnecessary, very expensive bureaucracy in the current American pharmaceutical sector, I believe Amazon could accomplish this mission.
For example, just by cutting out the middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers, stores and most pharmacists from the equation, Amazon could make drugs tremendously cheaper for uninsured and underinsured Americans. And if the company is able to import drugs from countries where pharmaceuticals cost less, AMZN could possibly undercut the rest of the American pharmaceutical sector on price while still making huge profits.
On the date of publication, Larry Ramer did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.