Amazon stock hits $3,000 for the first time as investors continue betting on Seattle tech giant

Inside the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Dupont, Wash. (Photo by GeekWire/Kevin Lisota)

Amazon stock just keeps on climbing. The Seattle company saw shares rise above $3,000 for the first time ever Monday morning.

The COVID-19 crisis has hurt companies across various industries, but Amazon has become a lifeline for millions of customers who are relying on its online store, cloud computing services, digital media offerings, and more amid the pandemic. Shares are up nearly 60% this year.

The stock price increase is beating many Wall Street expectations — the average price target among analysts is $2,810, according to Bloomberg.

Some are bullish that shares will continue spiking. RBC Capital Markets last month increased its 12-month price target for Amazon stock to $3,300 on Monday, up from its previous estimate of $2,700.

Amazon’s soaring share price has increased CEO Jeff Bezos’ net worth to more than $172 billion, a new record that pushes his financial wealth back above its levels prior to his divorce settlement last year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Amazon says it is spending about $4 billion on expenses related to the pandemic, including pay increases and safety measures to protect employees inside warehouses  where workers have tested positive for the virus. Amazon says it has made more than 150 process changes to protect workers, including temperature screenings and sanitization.

“Providing for customers and protecting employees as this crisis continues for more months is going to take skill, humility, invention, and money. If you’re a shareowner in Amazon, you may want to take a seat, because we’re not thinking small,” Bezos said in a lengthy statement as part of the company’s most recent quarterly earnings report.

The company has grown to more than 935,000 employees worldwide. It is planning to offer permanent roles to 70% of the 175,000 temporary workers the company brought on in recent months.

Last week, Amazon announced it would pay $500 million worth of one-time bonuses to warehouse and delivery workers after sunsetting temporary hazard pay the company was providing during the beginning of the pandemic.

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