- Amazon's push into food retail increases pressure on existing grocers to develop their technology, a JPMorgan analyst says.
- As a result, tech stocks from NCR to Oracle should benefit, JPM says.
Amazon's deal to acquire Whole Foods should accelerate food retailers' adoption of technology and will benefit 23 stocks, according to one JPMorgan analyst.
"We suspect the AMZN-WFM combination could introduce urgency into retailers' technology investments," Paul Coster, the firm's alternative energy, applied and emerging technologies senior analyst, said in a note Monday.
Coster expects grocers to focus on using technology to increase transaction efficiency and develop "seamless customer shopping experiences" across mobile, the internet and brick-and-mortar stores.
His top pick is NCR for its leadership in self-checkout technology and point-of-sale software. JPMorgan has an overweight rating on NCR, which is up more than 35 percent over the last 12 months but down nearly 2 percent this year.
Other companies the JPMorgan report said could benefit from grocers' increased investment in technology include Oracle, Pitney Bowes, Salesforce, Intel and NXP Semiconductor.
Coster noted that much of the innovation in grocery technology is taking place in private companies, and larger companies not included in the report.
"We also expect much of the associated innovation to originate in other verticals, including financial services, software security, and consumer electronics," Coster said.
The rise of e-commerce giant Amazon contributed to the struggles of the brick-and-mortar clothing retailers, and now looks to increase competition with an increasingly challenged grocery industry. Last week, Kroger cut its full-year earnings per share guidance by about 20 cents due partly to higher costs and reported a second-straight quarter of declining sales at established stores.
Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank also downgraded Costco after Amazon announced the deal to acquire Whole Foods on Friday.
In March, Citi Research found that Wal-Mart appears "best positioned" among major food retailers to compete with Amazon in online grocery, while Kroger also scored high on the report. Whole Foods was at the bottom of Citi's list.
— CNBC's Jeff Daniels contributed to this report.