By Rex Crum
Amazon.com shares outpaced the broader market for tech stocks Monday after one analyst predicted opportunities for its Kindle, downplaying fears Apple Inc.'s iPad had already made the electronic reader obsolete.
Amazon (AMZN) shares gained $2.07, or almost 2%, to $119.59. The Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) was up 0.3% to 2,148, and the tech sector of the S&P 500 (SPX) added 0.4%.
Collins Stewart analyst Sandeep Aggarwal on Monday raised his rating on Amazon's stock to buy from hold, mostly due to what he said are opportunities for the Kindle and the company's Amazon Web Services offerings for businesses. Aggarwal also set a price target on Amazon's stock of $150 a share.
Aggarwal said that competition from the likes of Apple's (AAPL) iPad is growing, and provided a challenge to the Kindle, which has been on the market for a little more than two years.
However, Aggarwal believes the Kindle will remain a force in the market because "the e-book revolution is much bigger than we previously thought."
"Competition for the Kindle is rising," Aggarwal said, noting that there are more than 45 e-book readers on the market. "[But] the market remains in early stage of development and Kindle is one of the most compelling e-readers."
Aggarwal added that for this year, Amazon will ship 3.85 million Kindles, resulting in $2.5 billion in revenue, and will soon add color and touchscreeen function to future models. Amazon currently doesn't disclose how many Kindles it sells.
Dell Inc. (DELL), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), Apple, Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) shares also gained.
RightNow Technologies Inc. (RNOW) shares added 37 cents a share, or 2.5%, to $15.38 after Robert W. Baird analyst Steven Ashley raised his rating on customer-relationship management software developer to outperform from neutral.
Ashley said RightNow's stands to benefit from a new software product that lets corporate customers monitor customers' conversations over social media networks in order to better understand those customers' needs and frustrations.
Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) also got an upbeat assessment from Citigroup analyst Glen Yeung, who initiated his coverage of the chipmaker with a buy rating and a $35-a-share price target. Yeung said that he believes Broadcom's strategy that includes focusing on communications chips will help extend the company's growth streak.
However, Yeung's take on Broadcom failed to build enthusiasm for the company's stock. Shares fell 37 cents to trade at $29.02.