Banking

One Stock Blasted Past Amazon’s 179,184% Run Under Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos may be losing the race to space with Virgin Galactic‘s (SPCE) Richard Branson. And Bezos’ stellar run as CEO at S&P 500 leader Amazon.com (AMZN) — which ended this month — also puts Bezos in second place.




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Shares of consumer discretionary firm Amazon.com jumped 179,184% in the roughly 24 years from the stock’s first-day closing price in 1997. That’s a remarkable gain that turned a $10,000 investment into $17.9 million.

But get ready for an extreme version of the adage, “no matter how good you are, there’s someone better.” Amazon wasn’t the top gainer in the broad S&P 1500 during the time Bezos ran Amazon.com as a public company. That title goes to consumer staples company Monster Beverage (MNST). Shares of the energy drink maker are up 332,234% during the time Amazon.com was public, says an Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith.

Put it this way. Had you invested $10,000 in Monster instead of Amazon on the day of its IPO, you’d have $33.2 million now. That’s roughly $15.5 million, or 87%, more than buying Amazon stock on the day it went public.

But that’s not to belittle the amazing run of Amazon.com with Bezos at the helm. Should you sell your Amazon.com stock now that Bezos is stepping down as CEO?

Top S&P 1500 Percentage Gains Since Amazon’s IPO

From first-day close on May 15, 1997

Company Ticker % ch. Sector What $10,000 invested is worth now
Monster Beverage (MNST) 332,233.6% Consumer Staples $33,233,358
Amazon.com (AMZN) 179,184.4% Consumer Discretionary $17,928,439
Apple (AAPL) 88,214.0% Information Technology $8,831,398
NVR (NVR) 35,790.4% Consumer Discretionary $3,589,039
Tyler Technologies (TYL) 24,669.6% Information Technology $2,476,960
 Sources: IBD, S&P Global Market Intelligence

S&P 500 Leader Amazon’s Numbers Under Bezos

Building a company from nothing into what’s likely to be the third $2 trillion company is no small feat.

Amazon.com closed out its first day of trading at a market value that at the time seemed outrageous: $560.7 million. It was an eye-popping valuation for the company that lost more than $1.19 a share in 1999. Some decried Amazon.com’s stock as “too expensive.” And Amazon.com remains a classic example of why growth investors shouldn’t pay too much attention to a stock’s P/E ratio.

Fast forward to now. Amazon’s value jumped by $1.76 trillion. And it’s on pace to earn profit of $28.5 billion, or $55.09 a share, in fiscal 2021. Meanwhile, revenue is on pace to hit $489.6 billion in 2021. That’s up more than 17,000% from 2000.

And yet, again, Amazon.com doesn’t comes in No. 1. The company to mint the most market value during Amazon.com’s time as a public company is Apple (AAPL). The information technology giant’s market value surged $2.3 trillion during the time Amazon was public. Amazon isn’t No. 2, either. That goes to IBD Long-Term Leader Microsoft (MSFT), which added $1.95 trillion in market value amid Amazon’s run.

It May Not Be No. 1, But Don’t Underestimate Amazon.com

Amazon’s gains in the S&P 500 may not be No. 1. But its role in the market and ETFs is massive.

Just in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) alone, Amazon.com holds a 4% weight. That’s behind Apple at 5.9% and Microsoft at 5.6%, but still roughly double the weight of No. 4, Facebook (FB).

And Amazon.com holds an even larger weight in more specialized ETFs. It’s nearly a quarter of the holdings in the ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN) and more than 23% of the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY).

Bezos, too, isn’t complaining. Even after his divorce, Bezos is still the No. 1 holder of Amazon.com shares. He owns 51.2 million shares, or 10.2%, of the company. That position is valued at $176.2 billion. And that’s why Bezos is No. 1 in at least one way: his net worth of $199 billion makes him the richest person in the world, says Bloomberg.

Not bad for a “runner up.”

Top S&P 1500 Market Value Gains Since Amazon’s IPO

From first-day close on May 15, 1997

Company Ticker % ch. Ch. in market value ($ billions) Sector What $10,000 invested is worth now
Apple (AAPL) 88,214.0% $2.3 Information Technology $8,831,398
Microsoft (MSFT) 1,796.4% $2.0 Information Technology $189,644
Amazon.com (AMZN) 179,184.4% $1.8 Consumer Discretionary $17,928,439
Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) 957.9% $0.6 Financials $105,794
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) 381.9% $0.4 Financials $48,195
Sources: IBD, S&P Global Market Intelligence
Follow Matt Krantz on Twitter @mattkrantz

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