Amazon is planning to open two new logistic centers in Italy at an investment of €230 million to meet the increasing demand for delivery and warehouse services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Specifically, Amazon (AMZN) announced that the fulfillment center in Novara and the sortation center in Spilamberto (MO) will create 1,100 permanent jobs over the coming three years. The world’s largest online retailer already employs 8,500 workers in the country and has already invested a total of €5.8 billion since 2010.
The e-commerce giant is expanding its facilities to support a growing number of independent small businesses, who are selling their products through Amazon and are using its warehouses and logistics services. Italian companies selling merchandise through the Amazon portal have generated over 25,000 jobs, exceeding €500 million in exports in 2019, the company said.
The new facilities, which are expected to start operating in autumn of 2021, will integrate energy savings and a low overall CO2 footprint. The energy produced by solar panels placed on the roof of the warehouse will power both sites. Additionally, the buildings will be managed by a smart maintenance system.
Amazon has been one of the top companies benefiting from the online shift in consumer preferences and spending habits as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. To capitalize on the trend, the e-commerce giant has been looking to expand and broaden its delivery services to gain more market share and enter into new markets as well.
Shares have been on a steady gaining streak, returning a stellar 65% over the past year, with the average analyst price target of $3,816.48 implying an additional 23% upside potential is lying ahead in the coming 12 months.
Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge last week reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a Street-high price target of $4,350, following an advertising buyer survey that showed that the company has a meaningful market share.
“We surveyed 52 senior US ad buyers in Dec. ’20 representing nearly $15BN in US ad spend to glean ad trends in ’21 and beyond,” Blackledge wrote in a note to investors. “Respondents expect Amazon’s share of their Digital ad spend to rise from 7% in ’20to 11% in ’22. By comparison, while YouTube and TikTok are expected to gain ~1% share over the period, other platforms are likely to remain flattish or see share erosion.”
Overall, AMZN scores a Strong Buy analyst consensus with 31 Buy ratings vs. only 1 Hold rating. (See Amazon stock analysis on TipRanks).
Meanwhile, from TipRanks’ Smart Score ranking, AMZN gets a 6 out of 10, indicating that the stock is likely to perform in line with market averages.