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Speculation Runs Amok: Who Will Be Amazon's Next Acquisition Target?

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Speculation Runs Amok: Who Will Be Amazon's Next Acquisition Target?
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Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)'s acquisition of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) is a mere few days old and far away from receiving the necessary regulatory approval. But this hasn't stopped Wall Street analysts from guessing who Amazon will target next.

Maxim Group's Tom Forte told CNBC that Amazon's next acquisition should be in the apparel and fashion space with Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) being an attractive target. Analysts at Loop Capital Markets are taking a different route and think that an acquisition of RH (NYSE: RH) "could be a future possibility."

The furniture space is quite similar to the grocery space, Loop Capital's Anthony Chukumba commented in a research report. For instance, both are large markets that continues to grow and highly fragmented. Also, without a physical presence, Amazon can't properly address the furniture market which it is reportedly looking to conquer.

Don't Rush To Buy

Amazon has deep pockets to buy RH, even at a significant premium, Chukumba added. Even at a 31 percent premium to RH's stock value today, the acquisition could be $0.15 per share accretive to consensus fiscal 2018 earnings per share estimates.

While it is a good exercise for investors to speculate Amazon's future moves to profit on any premium Amazon would pay in an acquisition, Chukumba cautioned that a future acquisition of RH isn't reason enough to buy the stock today. On the other hand, the "compelling strategic and financial rationale" behind an acquisition of RH is sufficient reason not to short the stock as it provides a floor value.

Bottom line, the analyst's research note is more so suggesting that Amazon should acquire RH than speculating that it will. As such, investors may want to keep a closer eye on RH and other physical retailers for any sign of Amazon's interest.

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