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Is Amazon (AMZN) the Best Large-Cap Stock AI Stock Pick of Billionaire Dan Loeb?

We recently published a list of 7 Best Large-Cap Stocks to Buy in 2024 According to Billionaire Dan Loeb.

Since Amazon is part of Loeb's top large-cap stock picks, the stock deserves a detailed look. But first let's see the latest performance of the billionaire.

Activist investor and billionaire Dan Loeb made a comeback in the final quarter of 2023 after losing money during most of the year in addition to suffering losses in 2022. Wall Street Journal earlier this year reported that Loeb’s Third Point, which he founded in 1995, gained between 7.8% to 8.6% in the December quarter. Third Point was also down 21% in 2022. Third Point was a star performer in the pandemic year as the fund closed 2020 up 19%, as Loeb foresaw the economy doing much better than many had expected.

Loeb's Q1'2024 Returns and Performance

Loeb is known for his activist bets in high-profile companies Intel, Disney and Shell. Some of his bets were highly unsuccessful, while others paid off. Latest data shows Loeb is continuing to retain the Q4'2023 momentum into 2024. In his Q1 letter to investors, Loeb revealed that Third Point returned 7.8% in the flagship Offshore Fund.

Billionaire Loeb Joins the "Soft Landing Camp"

Loeb said in his Q1 letter that he's in the "soft landing camp" as he believes we are no longer in an inflationary environment. He's also highly bullish on AI, saying the technology favors the "incumbents" who are deploying massive cash "war chests" to win the "AI arms race," a term the billionaire used twice in his letter. Loeb is betting on the whole AI spectrum — semiconductors, data centers, AI software and power.

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"We shared our views on AI’s transformational potential in recent letters and it is a key element of the thesis for nearly half of our equity positions today. Unlike in past periods of technological paradigm shifts, this new technology favors incumbents who are deploying their financial and intellectual war chests to win the AI arms race. Right now, what we see as the best-run “legacy” companies like Microsoft and Amazon (both of which we own) have built enormous competitive advantages and seen their growth vectors accelerate. Below, we discuss London Stock Exchange Group, Alphabet and TSMC, positions whose catalysts for further value creation are primarily “AI-driven”. We also see the energy transition and growth in data centers affecting scores of industrial, materials and energy companies as demand for infrastructure and certain commodities surges."

For this article we scanned Third Point’s Q1 portfolio and picked the fund’s top large-cap stock holdings. Why are we interested in the stocks that hedge funds pile into? The reason is simple: our research has shown that we can outperform the market by imitating the top stock picks of the best hedge funds. Our quarterly newsletter’s strategy selects 14 small-cap and large-cap stocks every quarter and has returned 275% since May 2014, beating its benchmark by 150 percentage points (see more details here).

Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN)

Billionaire Dan Loeb Q1'2024 Stake Value: $919,938,000

Billionaire Dan Loeb increased his position in Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) by 22% during the first quarter, ending the period with a $920 million stake. Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) is becoming an AI power house thanks to its AWS business, which saw operating margins cross 37% during the first quarter. AWS operating margins have now came in more than 30% for the past five straight quarters. Amazon.com Inc's (NASDAQ:AMZN) revenue in the first quarter jumped 12.5% YoY and its adjusted EPS more than tripled. Revenue in North America and International segments grew as well. Analysts believe digital ads is another strong revenue stream for Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), with revenue from the segment increasing 24% YoY to $11.8 billion in the first quarter.

However, Amazon skeptics believe the stock has run too much as its valuation is high. For value-conscious investors the market is indeed teeming with other opportunities. If you are looking for an AI stock that is as promising as Microsoft but that trades at less than 5 times its earnings, check out our report about the cheapest AI stock.

Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) replaced MSFT to take the spot of the most popular stock among the over 900 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey. A total of 302 hedge funds reported owning stakes in Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Baron Fifth Avenue Growth Fund stated the following regarding Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in its first quarter 2024 investor letter:

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is the world’s largest retailer and cloud services provider. Shares increased 18.7% on quarterly results that exceeded consensus expectations, with revenue growth of 13% year-over-year and operating margins of 7.8% (up from 1.8% a year ago). We believe that Amazon is well positioned in the short to medium term to continue improving its core North American margins, which have reached 6.1% in the fourth quarter, the seventh straight quarter of margin improvement and an overall improvement of 800bps. Amazon has been rearchitecting its fulfillment network, improving efficiency, reducing cost-to-serve and accelerating delivery speeds thanks to initiatives such as regionalization, with the number of items delivered during the same day or overnight increasing by nearly 70% year-over-year. Reducing the cost to serve also enables Amazon to sell lower priced items and expand its addressable market to everyday purchases. Additionally, Amazon continues to benefit from its fast-growing, margin-accretive advertising business winning market share in digital advertising thanks to its structural advantages of a closed loop system, which enables a deterministic calculation of Return on Ad Spending. We also believe that e-commerce still has long duration growth ahead as it still accounts for less than 15% of retail. Similarly, Amazon’s cloud service, AWS, remains relatively early in its S-curve with cloud representing around 13% of worldwide IT spending13 incremental tailwinds across the three layers of the GenAI stack – infrastructure with NVIDIA’s own AI chips (Trainium and Inferentia) as well as with its offering of NVIDIA chips, platform (Bedrock), and applications (first and third party).”

Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) ranks 1st in Insider Monkey’s list of the 7 Best Large-Cap Stocks to Buy in 2024 According to Billionaire Dan Loeb.

If you are looking for an AI stock that is as promising as Microsoft but that trades at less than 5 times its earnings, check out our report about the cheapest AI stock.

READ NEXT: Michael Burry Is Selling These Stocks and Jim Cramer is Recommending These Stocks.

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.