Busy week for Amazon ending with stock surge

Amazon.com’s market value has climbed nearly $25 billion this week in the wake of positive analyst reports and new company initiatives.

Amazon.com’s market value has climbed nearly $25 billion this week in the wake of positive analyst reports that point to continued growth for the world’s dominant online retailer.

Amazon shares were up 1.5 percent at $889.88 in early afternoon trading in New York on Friday. They’re up 6.2 percent from early Monday morning.

Amazon, the fourth-largest publicly traded company, is now worth about $425 billion. The stock surge has bumped CEO Jeff Bezos, the biggest shareholder in the company, to No. 2 among the world’s richest people, right after Microsoft founder Bill Gates, a fellow Eastsider.

The rise in market valuation caps a busy week for the company, which on Tuesday won a bidding war for Souq.com, a large e-commerce company based in Dubai and focused on the Arab world.

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The same day it opened two grocery pick up locations in Seattle, the latest iteration in its bid to understand and eventually conquer the supermarket space. And on Wednesday Amazon closed Quidsi, a former rival it had acquired in 2011 but failed to turn profitable.

Friday’s jump in share price coincided with a report by Loop Capital Markerts analyst Blake Harper, who started coverage of Amazon with a buy rating and a 12-month price target of $1,100.

Harper wrote that he expects the company’s sales to grow 20 percent on average over the next three years, as it proceeds with its speedy expansion both across geographies and new markets, such as streaming video, music, restaurant delivery and physical stores.

“We view the company as a giant optimization engine for physical and digital distribution, with an innovation philosophy that should enable it to succeed in multiple…

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