Amazon may not be the biggest U.S. retailer in terms of revenue, but it certainly is the most valuable.
After a remarkable market run over the last two years, its stock has nearly tripled in value to an astronomical $922, swelling Amazon’s market cap to $439.8 billion, which far surpasses the combined valuations of rivals Walmart, Costco, Target, Macy’s, and Kohl’s.
Amazon’s market cap nearly doubles that of Walmart, which is the largest retailer in the U.S., boasting revenue of $482 billion for fiscal 2016, compared with Amazon’s $136 billion. Walmart’s value comes out to $218.1 billion, while Costco’s is $73.8 billion and Target’s is $29.6 billion, according to Bloomberg. Macy’s and Kohl’s total $8.9 billion and $6.6 billion, respectively. The combined total for the five retailers is $337 billion, meaning Amazon eclipses them all by about $100 billion.
That disparity in values can be traced to Amazon’s recent success with investors and the market regression of its rivals. Whereas Amazon’s stock is up nearly 200% since the start of 2015, Walmart’s and Target’s are down around 15% and 30%, respectively. Macy’s, which has had a host of recent problems, has dropped by about half, while Kohl’s shares have fallen by a third. Only Costco has positive returns over the period, posting a gain of 18%.
But even though Amazon has overtaken traditional brick-and-mortar competitors by value, it’s important to note that the company is much more than just an online retailer. Amazon's stronghold in the tech world, which includes vigorous cloud computing business and products like Alexa and Amazon Fire, as well as other ventures like grocery delivery, make the company a diverse financial entity.
Other factors, such as the fact that many see Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as a remarkable leader, have also boosted Wall Street’s current love affair with the company. The stock's remarkable run has also catapulted Bezos ahead of Warren Buffett to make him the world's second-richest person.
The only companies that can go toe to with Amazon’s market cap these days are tech giants. Only Apple, Google parent Alphabet, and Microsoft are worth more, but that could soon change. A number of analysts believe Amazon is on its way to becoming the first trillion-dollar company.