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Amazon causes 'instant fear' when it enters a market, but everyone should calm down, analyst says

  • Home Depot shares declined 4 percent Thursday after Sears announced a deal to sell Alexa-enabled appliances on Amazon. Other appliance retailers fell also.
  • Jefferies believes the sell-off of appliance-seller stocks is "overdone," citing the decline of Sear's Kenmore brand.
  • "We have seen a series of knee-jerk reactions to anything Amazon does as instant fear and anxiety sets in," analyst Daniel Binder wrote.
Household appliances are offered for sale at Home Depot in Chicago, Illinois.
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Household appliances are offered for sale at Home Depot in Chicago, Illinois.

Investors panicked over appliance-seller shares due to fears of further Amazon disruption. A day later, Wall Street firm is defending the brick-and-mortar retailers, saying the sell-off is "overdone."

Home Depot shares declined 4.1 percent Thursday after Sears announced a deal to sell Alexa-enabled appliances on Amazon. Other appliance retailers such as Lowe's and Best Buy also closed down 5.6 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

"Share weakness in HD, LOW, and BBY on news that Sears would sell Alexa-integrated Kenmore appliances through AMZN is overdone, in our view. In recent weeks, we have seen a series of knee-jerk reactions to anything Amazon does as instant fear and anxiety sets in," Jefferies analyst Daniel Binder wrote in a note to clients Thursday. "We don't underestimate AMZN, appliance transactions are complex and Kenmore brand equity has declined."

Binder said the Sears Kenmore share of the appliance market has fallen to about 10 percent, down from its peak of 30 percent. In addition, Binder said e-commerce represented only 10 percent to 13 percent of the appliance industry's sales.

Jefferies' defense of the appliance seller names is noteworthy since the firm has hold ratings on Lowe's and Best Buy shares. The investment bank does recommend Home Depot stock with a buy rating on the home improvement retailer.

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