People have been posting up here claiming that the growth of BKS and BGP in terms of their revenues is matching that of AMZN. But what people aren't realizing is that we are looking at two different arenas here: internet retail and brick-and-mortar retail. If you really want to compare revenue growth to evaluate AMZN as an internet retailer stock, then we have to compare the growths of each in terms of their internet growth.
BGP is late on their WWW-debut. BKS has done exceedingly well with their own web-sales in terms of a percentage growth. But that isn't as telling as it appears. BKS is still very small in their internet power, compared to AMZN. I don't have all the exact figures on hand right now, but e.g.:
Say barnesandnoble.com grows by 100%. Amazon.com grows by 100%. This might mean that banesandnoble.com is "catching up" or beating amazon.com's debut-lead. But one has to realize that it's a lot easier to grow 100,000 members to 200,000, than to grow 1 MIL members to 1.5 MIL members! There's a HUGE difference. The same metaphor can be made of the sales.
So when comparing the two stocks, or to look at AMZN's growth in general, I think we need to look at the percentage changes (or other various quantified comparisons) on a graph of their true sizes.
I compared Amazon's 74% growth this quarter to B&N's 66% growth and Border's 76% growth during the 1996 Christmas quarter in order to make one simple point: a 74% jump in sales is SEASONAL. (Those figures are for total sales for each company, not just Internet sales.) AMAN's 74% increase in sales is NOT due to explosive Internet growth or Amazon's ability to grow base revenues. It's because people like to buy a lot of books during the Christmas season. Nothing more. If Internet booksales are growing faster than traditional booksales, then we would expect to see a rate of growth much faster than B&N or Borders. Amazon is growing at the same rate as B&N and Borders. And, yes, it is all relative: Border's Christmas sales in 1996 jumped 76%, from $414 million to $727 million, without a website. Amazon's Christmas sales in 1997 jumped 74%, from $38 million to $66 million. Which is more impressive?