Did Analysts Ignore Amazon's Fire TV Announcement?
Analysts are being unusually quiet about Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) big announcement.
The online retail giant unveiled its first set-top box this afternoon, which is now available on Amazon.com. The long-rumored $99 device plays games, music, movies and TV shows, and includes a couple of features that set it apart from Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV.
Amazon hyped the announcement (and today's event) with a media invite that was sent out to the press last week. Business Insider and other publications quickly leaked the invite online, confirming Amazon's plans to expand its video business.
Reporters jumped all over the event. Wall Street analysts, on the other hand, do not seem to be nearly as impressed.
When asked for their opinion of today's event, three different analysts told Benzinga that they had not yet looked at the Fire TV announcement.
Hype For Nothing?
Amazon's event was designed for tech reporters, who they hoped would promote Fire TV to consumers. Thus far, the company seems to have gotten what it wanted.
But when Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) holds an event, it seems like the whole world is watching -- not just reporters or consumers. Most analysts (including some who don't cover Apple) and most investors keep a close eye on the company, knowing that a big product unveiling could impact the stock.
This could be the reason why analysts have apparently ignored Amazon's event. While Fire TV could prove to be a popular device, it is unlikely to move the needle. As of this writing, the stock is down less than one percent. Product development is a new and exciting venture for the company, but it is not its core business.
Apple, meanwhile, relies wholeheartedly on the release of new products. The Mac maker needs new iPhones and iPads to reignite sales every 12 months. Without them and other product upgrades (and the occasional new device), Apple would crumble.
Amazon, on the other hand, doesn't need to develop its own products. Its online store was built by selling items that other companies produce.
If Amazon decided to exit the tablet and TV business tomorrow, the stock would surely plummet. But the investor response would be much worse if Apple were to stop producing tablets or smartphones -- or new Apple TVs, for that matter.
There might come a time when new Amazon products are just as important as those announced by Apple. Until then, analysts might continue to ignore Amazon.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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