Despite the pandemic, e-commerce behemoth Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) managed to come out on top in 2020. Fourth-quarter revenue was up 44% year over year, driving a 77% improvement in operating income. The full-year results are just as impressive as consumers flocked to the online shopping platform while locked down at home. Given this backdrop, it’s not surprising Amazon shares are up more than 60% in the past year.
The company threw a curveball in conjunction with its fourth-quarter results, however. Amazon’s founder and chief of over 27 years, Jeff Bezos, will be stepping down from that role later this year. Thus begins an era when the names “Bezos” and “Amazon” are not nearly as synonymous.
Investors aren’t quite sure how to respond. Rather than the fourth quarter’s sales and earnings beats catapulting the stock higher (and out of a five-month funk), the stock slipped just a bit on Wednesday. The market is still looking for clues as to how incoming CEO Andy Jassy, who currently serves as the chief of Amazon Web Services (AWS), might change things. After all, the company is so much more than its cloud computing business. Some may even be mulling a more broad-based bet like the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEMKT: SPY) instead of taking a shot on a proven company close to being helmed by an unknown leader.