Golden Gate University’s Investment Research Club hosted a special group discussion at its downtown San Francisco campus: Amazon: blockbuster or bubble? Organized by GGU’s Investment Research Club, the event was attended by graduate students in the GGU’s master’s degree in Finance program, as well as professional asset managers from around the finance industry. GGU students were able to participate in a group analysis of a stock and the professional back-and-forth that characterizes the varying orientations and opinions of top analysts.
The event kicked off with a presentation by GGU’s Prof. David Kaczorowski, who spent five years in the investment banking industry as an equity research associate, covering technology companies such as Cisco. Kaczorowski gave a comprehensive review of Amazon’s business strategy, which includes its core third-party platform business, Cloud Services, Amazon Marketplace, and Amazon Prime. The company’s “land-and-expand” strategy with its third-party selling platform has been effective, despite its low profitability. However, Amazon is building on its platform with high margin services like Amazon Marketplace and Amazon Prime.
Kaczorowski continued, saying that the company will find new ways to be profitable and its stock will push higher. Although many believe Amazon’s stock price is peaking, he concluded that it had room to grow despite barriers internationally—such as the dominance of Alibaba in China and a possible protective stance of European countries.
The next presenter was Howard Aschwald, Chief Investment Officer at Quantum Capital Management. A GGU graduate (MBA, Finance & Financial Planning, ’85), he offered the opinion that Amazon stock is overvalued, although the company is strong and its stock had a more stable price during the crash than its competitors. GGU’s Hank Pruden, onetime instructor of Aschwald at GGU, commented on the technical analysis issues of Amazon stock. In response to various perspective offered by attendees, Aschwald replied in an industry maxim: “You can torture the numbers until you get them to say what you want.”
The Investment Research Club’s meetings are open to students and the public. For more information contact Gannon Kim (MA Finance, ’17).
About the Investment Research Club
The GGU Investment Research Club is intended to allow students to participate in an enjoyable intellectual exercise while learning the time-honored and effective methods of the business. We are a group of students who have a passion for finance and investing. We meet regularly to collectively research, analyze, and value companies from an investor’s perspective. Through research, networking, and guest speakers, we will gain practical skills, industry knowledge, and connections to help each other increase our aptitude with investments. The Golden Gate University Investment Research Club consolidates University and member resources to develop an educational platform which strengthens our understanding of investment research and provide practical experience in company analysis.