Analysts turn sour on Amazon, cite Kindle delays and weakness

Amazon.com has heard this one before. Stock analysts are turning bearish on the Seattle online retailer, the company that once was dubbed “Amazon.toast” during the dot-com bust (but later went on to dominate online retailing and cloud computing).

Forbes reports on two analysts this week who point out possible weakness in the company’s business, tied in part to the slowing growth of the Kindle e-readers and tablets as well as pressures on profit margins. Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley, citing checks with suppliers, said that they don’t think the next-generation Kindle e-readers will be unveiled until at least September.

Amazon has been hiring like mad, cutting into the company’s historically slim profit margins

Bartley said he expects Amazon.com to sell 7.3 million e-readers this year, down from an original estimate of 9.7 million. As for Kindle Fire, whose sales have reportedly been weak in recent months, he expects 13.5 million units sold. That compares to 14.7 million.

As such, the analyst trimmed revenue forecasts for 2012 to $64.3 billion, down from $65.4 billion. “We would still avoid AMZN,” Bartley said, according to the Forbes report.

He isn’t the only one suggesting weakness in the business, with Cowen analyst Kevin Kopelman cutting revenue targets as well based on new sales forecasts for the Kindle Fire as it faces new competition from Google’s Nexus 7 tablet.

Amazon.com is up slightly today with a stock price above $218, and a market value of $98 billion.

I often wonder what Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos thinks of these Wall Street reports, given that he’s said before that the company is willing to “willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.”

Amazon.com plans to release second quarter earnings on July 26th.

Previously on GeekWireKindle Fire vs. Nexus 7: A detailed cost breakdown of the two tablet computers