Buy Amazon because Alexa will drive $10 billion in sales by 2020, RBC's Mahaney predicts

  • RBC Capital Markets reaffirms its outperform rating for Amazon shares, citing the firm's positive consumer survey results for the e-commerce giant's Alexa voice recognition product.
  • "Following our third annual Alexa survey, we are more impressed with the traction of these devices and more convinced of their potential L-T term impact," the firm's analyst writes.
An attendee operates the new Amazon Echo device.
Daniel Berman | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An attendee operates the new Amazon Echo device.

Amazon's innovative voice recognition Alexa device will boost the company's financial results, according to one Wall Street firm.

RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed its outperform rating for the e-commerce giant, citing the firm's positive consumer survey results for the Alexa product.

"Following our third annual Alexa survey, we are more impressed with the traction of these devices and more convinced of their potential L-T term impact," analyst Mark Mahaney wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. "With tens of millions of users and 20K+ skills, we see Alexa's value prop as becoming increasingly powerful as awareness an ownership ramp."

Mahaney reiterated his $1,200 price target for Amazon shares, representing nearly 2 percent upside to Wednesday's close.

"The win by the way for Amazon probably is not just selling devices ... 40 percent of people who own these [Alexa] devices shop more with Amazon," Mahaney said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday. "You are removing friction, you're creating more opportunities for Amazon to be there with its shopping cart."

The analyst noted the firm's recent survey of consumers, which revealed awareness of Alexa rose to 89 percent from 77 percent over the last nine months. In addition, 15 percent of consumers said they owned the device, up 2 percentage points from the previous survey.

As a result, Mahney predicts Amazon will generate an additional $10 billion to $11 billion in sales from Alexa-related revenue in 2020. The sales forecast is a combination of device sales and incremental voice-driven e-commerce revenue from Alexa owners.

Amazon has "one of the best management teams on the internet," he wrote. "We are positive on management given their consistency, operational and strategic track record, focus on innovation and customer service, and long-term shareholder orientation."

The company's shares have rallied 57 percent this year through Wednesday, compared with the market's 20 percent gain.