2021’s Surprising Laggard: Amazon



Perhaps the most overlooked story of 2021 was Amazon.com’s poor stock market performance.

For the year, the giant gained a mere 2.4%. Among its closest mega-cap competitors, Apple was up 34.7%, Tesla gained 49.8%, Microsft added 52.5%, and Google tacked on 65.2%.

Rising 2.4% looks like losing money compared to its peers.

Beyond its stock price, Amazon had a rough year. In 2020, the company rose to the challenge of the pandemic, showed its logistical expertise, the wizardry of Amazon Web Services (AWS), and the strength of its founder/CEO.

2021 saw a lot of the gloss on Amazon fade:

-Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO
-Amazon lost its status as lowest-cost retailer;
-Advertisers seemingly overran the site;
-3rd party sellers added regulatory headaches;
-Brad Stone’s Amazon Unbound revealed some of the less attractive aspects of the company (pod here)

But all of that is hindsight.

The simple market fact is this: After a decade where the company looked unstoppable, saw AMZN’s stock rise 1830%, and brought the company to a $1.6 trillion market cap, Amazon.com stumbled.

This might be the most overlooked, underreported story of 2021…





Similar chart showing with top 5 market caps


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