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Wall Street says ignore Amazon’s stunning earnings miss and trust in Bezos

  • Analysts are defending Amazon shares after its weak second-quarter earnings report, citing confidence in Jeff Bezos' strategy to invest in the company's promising businesses.
  • Amazon has been one of the best-performing large-cap names in the market.
  • Its shares rallied 39.5 percent year to date through Thursday versus the S&P 500's 10.6 percent return.

Jeff Bezos is a one of a kind CEO and Wall Street loves giving him the benefit of the doubt for his Amazon growth strategy.

Almost every major Wall Street analyst defended their bullish calls Friday morning even as the internet giant's shares fell after it posted weaker-than-expected earnings. The profit miss was the worst in Amazon's history since at least 2001, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

Amazon stock was down 3 percent midmorning Friday.

"We continue to believe that we are in the early stages of the shift of compute to the cloud and the transition of traditional retail online and that the market is underestimating the long-term financial impact of both to Amazon," Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry wrote in a note to clients Thursday. "As Amazon continues to generate high cash returns on cash invested despite the growing scale of its investments … we believe growth acceleration like that we saw in 2Q is likely to continue."

Amazon has been one of the best-performing large-cap stocks in the market. Its shares rallied 39.5 percent year to date through Thursday versus the S&P 500's 10.6 percent return.

Terry maintained his buy rating and $1,275 price target for Amazon, representing 22 percent upside from Thursday's close.

Many analysts expressed confidence that the company's increased investment spending for its new businesses will pay dividends in the coming years even if it comes at the expense of lower short-term earnings.

Several noted how the company's sales growth excluding currency changes improved to 26 percent year over year in the second quarter from 24 percent in the previous quarter as a sign Amazon is on the right track.

"The overall story coming out of AMZN's 2Q print feels a lot like it did 3 months ago —accelerating growth, stepped-up investments, & lower near-term profitability," JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth wrote Friday. "Given accelerating growth and long runway in both retail and cloud — along w/AMZN's track record — we believe many investors will look beyond lower near-term profitability."

Anmuth reaffirmed his overweight rating and initiated a new December 2018 $1,175 price target for Amazon.

Morgan Stanley's Brian Nowak said the internet company is spending to add fulfillment warehouses, acquire more Prime video streaming content and build cloud computing Amazon Web Services data centers.

"We see these investment seeds and AMZN's strong execution history leading to continued faster-than-expected share gains," the analyst wrote Friday.

Nowak reiterated his overweight rating and increased his price target on Amazon shares to $1,200 from $1,150.

— CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this story.