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You have to admire a company that's not only changed the world by creating a whole new industry (online retailing), but one that also is not afraid to take on the biggest players in an existing space. That company is Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), and for some time now it's been one of Wall Street's greatest success stories.
Consider that since the shares went public in May 1997, the stock has vaulted more than 16,300%, rising to blue-chip status. That's an incredible track record that shows the power of investing, the genius of a great idea, and the greatness of capitalism.
More importantly, the company doesn't rest on its laurels. Amazon is one of those companies that just keeps on driving with the throttle wide open, intent on conquering any new market where it thinks it can offer a competitive advantage.
The latest Amazon venture is producing original TV content. On Wednesday, the company announced that it will produce five original TV series, a move aimed directly at online entertainment giants Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Hulu. Amazon said they selected the five shows based on positive viewer feedback from a group of 14 pilots they had filmed and screened earlier this year. This selection process based on customer opinion is one of the keys to Amazon's greatness, because it reflects the company's tremendous focus on customer satisfaction.
Indeed, perhaps the biggest reason why Amazon has been so successful since its inception is due to founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and his near-obsession with providing customers the best online shopping experience. Amazon first did this in the 1990s with books, but soon after they were dominating the online retail space by selling just about anything you could ever want.
Now its sights are set on providing original digital content to subscribers of their Prime Instant Video service, which is part of the company's $79-per-year Amazon Prime service, which offers no-charge two-day shipping in the United States.
Original TV content is just the latest tributary dug out by Amazon. Recently, the company announced the launch of its Appstore in approximately 200 countries. The offerings for the Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) based Android mobile OS is Amazon's attempt to chip away at the market share of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), which currently occupies the top spot in the mobile OS app space.
Then, of course, there's the Amazon Kindle, which continues changing the way we read books and the way we receive digital content. The company's Kindle Fire launch in November 2011 was basically its way of muscling in on the tablet PC market, a move aimed again at competing with Apple, but also with other top-tier tablet makers, and even PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ).
Amazon also has taken on the biggest giants in the IT industry with its cloud computing services. Here the likes of IBM (NYSE: IBM), VMware (NYSE: VMW), Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) and even Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) aren't safe, as Amazon is arguably the most important player in the cloud computing space.
For both traders and investors, Amazon's intrepid nature is something to take note of, and to profit from. The company's constant and aggressive expansion into new markets, focus on customer satisfaction, distinctive global brand and genius CEO all make the stock a bullish force to reckon with for both the short and long term.
Recommended Trade Setup:
-- Buy AMZN at the market price-- Set stop-loss at $240.74, approximately 10% below the current price-- Set initial price target at $351.60 for a potential 30% gain by year-end
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