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Amazon shares gain for a third straight session on Friday, front-line employees in the US to receive holiday bonuses costing Amazon over $500 million

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN) announced plans to spend over $500 million on one-time bonuses for its US front-line employees who are working during the busy holiday season amid the pandemic.

Amazon shares closed higher for a third consecutive trading session on NASDAQ on Friday. The stock edged up 0.32% ($10.27) to $3,195.34, after touching an intraday high at $3,216.19, or a price level not seen since November 9th ($3,288.45).

Shares of Amazon.com Inc have risen 72.92% so far in 2020 compared with a 12.62% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Amazon.com Inc’s stock went up 23.03%, thus, it underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

Amazon’s full-time operations personnel in the United States employed from December 1st to December 31st will get a one-time bonus of $300, the e-commerce giant said. At the same time, workers in part-time employment with the company will receive a bonus of $150.

“Combined with other holiday pay incentives, in this quarter alone we are investing over $750 million in additional pay for our front-line hourly workforce, on top of our industry-leading $15 national minimum wage. This brings our total spent on special bonuses and incentives for our teams globally to over $2.5 billion in 2020, including a $500 million thank you bonus earlier this year,” Dave Clark, Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations & Customer Service, said.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 46 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Amazon.com Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $3,800.00, with a high estimate of $4,500.00 and a low estimate of $3,048.00. The median estimate represents an 18.92% upside compared to the closing price of $3,195.34 on November 27th.

The same media also reported that at least 42 out of 49 surveyed investment analysts had rated Amazon.com Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 3 – as “Hold”.

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