How to buy Amazon (AMZN) shares in the UK
Online shopping is more popular than ever due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the rise of Amazon stock in 2020 has made CEO Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world. Here's everything you need to know about buying shares in Amazon.
The tech giant was one of the few stock market success stories in 2020, pushing to new highs as lockdowns and working from home requirements pushed shoppers online. But the announcement that founder and CEO Jeff Bezos would be stepping down in early February has led to speculation that AMZN stock may see more volatility going forward.
How to buy shares in Amazon
- Choose a platform. If you're a beginner, our share-dealing table below can help you choose.
- Open your account. You'll need your ID, bank details and national insurance number.
- Confirm your payment details. You'll need to fund your account with a bank transfer, debit card or credit card.
- Search the platform for stock code: AMZN in this case.
- Research Amazon shares. The platform should provide the latest information available.
- Buy your Amazon shares. It's that simple.
What's in this guide?
- Can I buy shares in Amazon?
- Has coronavirus impacted Amazon shares?
- Amazon shares summary
- Compare share dealing platforms
- Is Amazon stock a buy or sell?
- Performance over time
- Can I short Amazon shares?
- Is Amazon suitable for ethical investing?
- Are Amazon shares over-valued?
- How volatile are Amazon shares?
- Does Amazon pay a dividend?
- Have Amazon shares ever split?
- Other common questions
How has coronavirus impacted Amazon's share price?
Since the stock market crash that started in February 2020, Amazon's share price has had significant positive movement.
Its last market close was $3392.49, which is 38.22% up on its pre-crash value of $2095.97 and 108.64% up on the lowest point reached during the March 2020 crash when the shares fell as low as $1626.0318.
If you had bought $1,000 worth of Amazon shares at the start of February 2020, those shares would have been worth $951.42 at the bottom of the March crash, and if you held on to them, then as of the last market close they'd be worth $1,696.25.
Amazon share price (NASDAQ:AMZN)Use our graph to track the performance of AMZN stocks over time.
Amazon shares at a glance
|52-week range||$2881 - $3773.0801|
|50-day moving average||$3379.0483|
|200-day moving average||$3381.6726|
|Wall St. target price||$4150.08|
|Dividend yield||N/A (0%)|
|Earnings per share (TTM)||$57.395|
Fees for buying 3x Amazon shares with popular platforms
Both exchange rates and share prices fluctuate in real time, so the costs presented here should be considered as a guide only. They do not incorporate stamp duty. Always refer to the platform itself for availability and pricing – which may differ from our information.
|Platform||Platform fee||Min. initial deposit||Trading fee estimate|
|Capital at risk|
|Capital at risk|
|Capital at risk|
|Capital at risk|
|Capital at risk|
|Capital at risk|
|£9.99 per month||No minimum||£119.01
|Capital at risk|
|£36 per year||£20||£102.02
|Capital at risk|
All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.
Is it a good time to buy Amazon stock?
The technical analysis gauge below displays real-time ratings for the timeframes you select. This is not a recommendation, however. It represents a technical analysis based on the most popular technical indicators: Moving Averages, Oscillators and Pivots. Finder might not concur and takes no responsibility.
Is Amazon under- or over-valued?
Valuing a stock is incredibly difficult, and any metric has to be viewed as part of a bigger picture of overall performance. However, analysts commonly use some key metrics to help gauge value.
Amazon's current share price divided by its per-share earnings (EPS) over a 12-month period gives a "trailing price/earnings ratio" of roughly 58x. In other words, Amazon shares trade at around 58x recent earnings.
That's relatively high compared to, say, the trailing 12-month P/E ratio for the NASDAQ 100 at the end of 2019 (27.29). The high P/E ratio could mean that investors are optimistic about the outlook for the shares or simply that they're over-valued.
However, Amazon's P/E ratio is best considered in relation to those of others within the internet retail industry or those of similar companies.
Amazon's "price/earnings-to-growth ratio" can be calculated by dividing its P/E ratio by its growth – to give 2.5438. Higher PEG ratios such as this can be interpreted as meaning the shares offer worse value given the current rate of growth.
The PEG ratio provides a broader view than just the P/E ratio, as it gives more insight into Amazon's future profitability. By accounting for growth, it could also help you if you're comparing the share prices of multiple high-growth companies.
However, it's sensible to consider Amazon's PEG ratio in relation to those of similar companies.
Amazon's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) is a whopping $59.3 billion (£43.1 billion).
The EBITDA is a measure of a Amazon's overall financial performance and is widely used to measure a its profitability.
To put that into context you can compare it against similar companies.
|Revenue TTM||$443.3 billion|
|Operating margin TTM||6.69%|
|Gross profit TTM||$152.8 billion|
|Return on assets TTM||5.99%|
|Return on equity TTM||31.23%|
|Market capitalisation||$1.7 trillion|
TTM: trailing 12 months
How to short and sell Amazon shares
- Create a CFD or spread betting account.
- Search for the stock code. E.g. "AMZN.US"
- Choose your position size.
- Select "sell" rather than "buy".
- Confirm your position and keep tabs on it. You may wish to set limits on your position.
There are currently 5.0 million Amazon shares held short by investors – that's known as the "short interest". This figure is 6.9% down from 5.3 million last month.
There are a few different ways that this level of interest in shorting Amazon shares can be evaluated.
Short interest ratio (SIR)
Amazon's "short interest ratio" (SIR) is the quantity of Amazon shares currently shorted divided by the average quantity of Amazon shares traded daily (recently around 3.0 million). Amazon's SIR currently stands at 1.63. In other words for every 100,000 Amazon shares traded daily on the market, roughly 1630 shares are currently held short.
To gain some more context, you can compare Amazon's short interest ratio against those of similar companies.
However Amazon's short interest can also be evaluated against the total number of Amazon shares, or, against the total number of tradable Amazon shares (the shares that aren't held by "insiders" or major long-term shareholders – also known as the "float"). In this case Amazon's short interest could be expressed as 0.01% of the outstanding shares (for every 100,000 Amazon shares in existence, roughly 10 shares are currently held short) or 0.0114% of the tradable shares (for every 100,000 tradable Amazon shares, roughly 11 shares are currently held short).
Such a low SIR usually points to an optimistic outlook for the share price, with fewer people currently willing to bet against Amazon.
Find out more about how you can short Amazon stock.
Environmental, social and governance track record
Environmental, social and governance (known as ESG) criteria are a set of three factors used to measure the sustainability and social impact of companies like Amazon.
Total ESG risk score
Amazon's total ESG risk: 33.42
Socially conscious investors use ESG scores to screen how an investment aligns with their worldview, and Amazon's overall score of 33.42 (as at 12/31/2018) is nothing to write home about – landing it in it in the 52nd percentile of companies rated in the same sector.
ESG scores are increasingly used to estimate the level of risk a company like Amazon is exposed to within the areas of "environmental" (carbon footprint, resource use etc.), "social" (health and safety, human rights etc.), and "governance" (anti-corruption, tax transparency etc.).
To gain some more context, you can compare Amazon's total ESG risk score against those of similar companies.
- Facebook (FB.US): 29.40
- Apple (AAPL.US): 26.15
- Netflix (NFLX.US): 21.55
- Alphabet (GOOGL.US): 20.35
- Alibaba Group Holding (BABA.US): 28.21
Amazon's environmental score: 10.63/100
Amazon's environmental score of 10.63 puts it squarely in the 7th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Amazon is a leader in its sector terms of its environmental impact, and exposed to a lower level of risk.
Amazon's social score: 18.52/100
Amazon's social score of 18.52 puts it squarely in the 7th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Amazon is a leader in its sector when it comes to taking good care of its workforce and the communities it impacts.
Amazon's governance score: 12.78/100
Amazon's governance score puts it squarely in the 7th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. That could suggest that Amazon is a leader in its sector when it comes to responsible management and strategy, and exposed to a lower level of risk.
Amazon's controversy score: 3/5
ESG scores also evaluate any incidences of controversy that a company has been involved in. A high-profile company, Amazon scored a 3 out of 5 for controversy – a middle-of-the-table result reflecting that Amazon hasn't always managed to keep its nose clean.
Wondering how that compares? Below are the controversy scores of similar companies.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) summary
|Total ESG score||33.42|
|Total ESG percentile||52.16|
|Environmental score percentile||7|
|Social score percentile||7|
|Governance score percentile||7|
|Level of controversy||3|
Amazon share dividends
We're not expecting Amazon to pay a dividend over the next 12 months. However, you can browse other dividend-paying shares in our guide.
You may also wish to consider:
- Apple (AAPL.US) (0.56% dividend yield)
Have Amazon's shares ever split?
Amazon's shares were split on a 2:1 basis on 1 September 1999. So if you had owned 1 share the day before before the split, the next day you'd have owned 2 shares. This wouldn't directly have changed the overall worth of your Amazon shares – just the quantity. However, indirectly, the new 50% lower share price could have impacted the market appetite for Amazon shares which in turn could have impacted Amazon's share price.
Share price volatility
Over the last 12 months, Amazon's shares have ranged in value from as little as $2881 up to $3773.0801. A popular way to gauge a stock's volatility is its "beta".
Beta is a measure of a share's volatility in relation to the market. The market (NASDAQ average) beta is 1, while Amazon's is 1.1593. This would suggest that Amazon's shares are a little bit more volatile than the average for this exchange and represent, relatively-speaking, a slightly higher risk (but potentially also market-beating returns).
To put Amazon's beta into context you can compare it against those of similar companies.
- Facebook (FB.US): 1.3222
- Apple (AAPL.US): 1.2222
- Netflix (NFLX.US): 0.7132
- Alphabet (GOOGL.US): 1.0259
- Alibaba Group Holding (BABA.US): 0.8392
Amazon.com, Inc. is an American multinational technology and e-commerce company based in Seattle, Washington. It's one of the “Big Four” tech companies alongside Google, Apple and Facebook, and one of the most valuable and well-known companies in the world.
Initially founded as Cadabra, Inc. by Jeff Bezos in Bellevue, Washington in 1994, Amazon went public in May 1997. As one of the world’s largest companies, it's also a component of the NASDAQ-100, S&P 100 and S&P 500 stock indices.
As well as being an online-retail giant, Amazon has produced hardware that's become a staple in UK homes – from the ubiquitous Fire Stick to the Echo ("Alexa!") to the Kindle. It's also popular with businesses, thanks to its cloud computing service, AWS, and its data warehouse service, Redshift (amongst others).
In 2005 Amazon launched its "Prime" subscription service, which offers free delivery on purchases made through Amazon plus access to streamed TV and music. Since 2015 the company has held an annual "Prime Day" on which Prime subscribers can access a number of exclusive discounts.
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