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Analyst sees Amazon shares soaring about 34% over 12 months — here's why

  • "The Whole Foods acquisition gave them 460 excellent storefronts and a severe advancement in their grocery effort," analyst Tom Forte says.
  • He initiated Amazon with a buy rating and a price target of $1,300, saying the retail giant is poised to take even more market share in the sector with its Whole Foods deal.

Amazon is ushering in the era of "bricks and clicks" with its Whole Foods purchase and its stock could reach $1,300 in the next 12 to 18 months, an analyst told CNBC on Thursday.

"The Whole Foods acquisition gave them 460 excellent storefronts and a severe advancement in their grocery effort," Tom Forte, senior research analyst at D.A. Davidson, said on "Halftime Report."

"And to me, the big difference is this was an e-commerce company that's adding on physical stores. They have a huge technical advantage versus the legacy operators that had technology to build stores and were trying to overlay e-commerce," he added.

On Wednesday, Forte initiated Amazon with a buy rating and a price target of $1,300, saying in part that the retail giant is poised to take even more market share in the sector with its Whole Foods deal.

Last month, Amazon completed its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods, sending shares of rival grocers tumbling on fears that market share battles will intensify.

Should Amazon hit Forte's price target, that's about 34 percent upside.

Regarding Amazon Web Services, Forte said its market-leading unit also will help the company sustain profitable revenue growth into the future.

"If you look at their buckets of profitability, it's their AWS cloud computing first, their third-party retail sector second," he said. "It looks to be an open-ended growth story for Amazon."

The analyst said the risks to the stock include slow growth at AWS and competition from Google and Microsoft.

Shares of Amazon were higher Thursday after the company announced plans to open a second company headquarters in North America. The online retailer expects to invest more than $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.