Citi says Amazon is its favorite internet stock, raises price target to $1,400

  • Citi Research reiterates its buy rating for Amazon shares, predicting the internet giant will generate strong growth.
  • The firm's analyst also forecasts the company's profit margin will surge in the next three years.
Jeff Bezos speaking at the new New York Economic Club luncheon in New York on Oct. 27, 2016.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Jeff Bezos speaking at the new New York Economic Club luncheon in New York on Oct. 27, 2016.

It will be another great year for Amazon shareholders, according to one Wall Street firm.

Citi Research reiterated its buy rating for the internet giant's shares, predicting Amazon will generate strong growth.

"We remain bullish on the consumer Internet sector, especially near term considering that a positive, tax reform fueled, business climate should benefit the end-markets of the companies we cover," analyst Mark May wrote in a note to clients Friday. "Amazon moves up a spot to become our top-ranked pick as we see the combination of >30% topline growth, margin expansion, and 20x '19 FCF as a compelling mix."

May increased his price target for Amazon shares to $1,400 from $1,250, representing 16 percent upside to Thursday's close.

The analyst predicts Amazon will be able to raise its operating profit margin to nearly 10 percent in three years from the current 6 percent level due to growth in its Amazon Web Services and advertising businesses.

"In 2018 we expect continued expansion in newer categories (e.g., healthcare/pharma) and moves to integrate Whole Foods into the core Prime offering," he wrote.

Amazon shares rose 56 percent in 2017 versus the S&P 500's 19 percent gain.

The company's shares are up 0.5 percent in Friday's premarket session after the report.

— CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this story.