|10:25 EDT||NTAP||$25B cloud boost seen coming for Amazon, Microsoft, Google|
Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOGL, GOOG) are all poised to get huge boosts from their cloud businesses over the next three years, research firm Pacific Crest wrote in a note to investors today. The combined revenue from their cloud initiatives should surge $25B over the next three years as companies move more workloads to the cloud from legacy IT systems, the firm believes. NEXT MAJOR CLOUD CYCLE: The revenue of Amazon's cloud business, AWS, could triple to $25B by 2018, according to Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson. Moreover, by 2018, AWS could account for 14% of the company's revenue and over 50% of its profits, up from 7% and 41%, respectively, today, the analyst predicts. Meanwhile, within three years, Microsoft's revenue from its commercial cloud business could jump 50% to $25B, the analyst stated. By 2018, the business could account for almost 25% of the tech giant's revenue and 15% of its profits, up from 15% of its revenue and very little of its profit today, the analyst added. Google's revenue from infrastructure as a service, a form of cloud computing, can surge 500% over the next three years to about $4.5B, Wilson believes. Additionally, noting that AWS' incremental operating margin came in at 51.9% last quarter, Wilson believes that investors are underestimating the profitability of cloud businesses. The analyst maintained an $800 price target and Overweight rating on Amazon, a $65 price target and Overweight rating on Microsoft, and a $910 price target and Overweight rating on Alphabet. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Intel (INTC), along with hard disk drive maker Western Digital (WDC) and Arista Networks (ANET), which supplies cloud networking solutions, should all benefit from the tremendous growth in demand for cloud platforms, Wilson believes. He kept Overweight ratings on all three of the latter stocks. Conversely, Wilson identifies EMC (EMC), HP Enterprise (HPE) and NetApp (NTAP) as "cloud share donors" and keeps Sector Weight ratings on their shares. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Amazon fell 1% to $525.80, Microsoft was flat near $52 per share and Alphabet Class A shares dropped 1.8% to $736.15.