Analysis: AMZN MSFT AAPL TSLA CRM

Amazon (AMZN) has seen a lot of news coverage lately. On the one hand, the company has been in the news as New Yorkers continue to debate the pros and cons of an Amazon HQ2 being built in Long Island City. On the other hand, CEO Jeff Bezos has made the headlines following his post to Medium.com titled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker" where he went public with an e-mail from American Media, Inc's (owner of the National Enquirer) Chief Content Officer, Dylan Howard, that threatened the release of personal photos unless Bezos agreed to a list of proposed terms. While the headquarters debate rages on and we don't view it as being highly material to the overall investment thesis -- largely because there are a number of cities that would love to have an Amazon presence -- the developments relating to Bezos' personal life has caused some to question his ability to remain focused on the company's operations and if the ensuing media whirlwind is a reason to sell the stock.

First, we want to start off by saying that while a founder/CEO being in the news is certainly something to pay attention to, especially for a company like Amazon -- which, similar to Tesla (TSLA) or Salesforce (CRM) , has gained an almost cult like following with many viewing leadership as the key to success -- we do not believe one person being the center of media attention, even an iconic founder/CEO such as Jeff Bezos to be a reason to buy or sell a stock.

For starters, this would imply that the investment decisions were made based solely a single person, not a management team/style and would inherently imply an unreasonable amount of key man risk. Another factor to consider is that when we look back at past examples, we can see that this hasn't exactly been a winning strategy, the most notable that come to mind would be the departure of Bill Gates from Microsoft (MSFT) or Steve Jobs from Apple (AAPL) as a result of health complications. Not only did Microsoft and Apple survive following these key departures, both went on to, at one point or another, hold the title of most valuable company in the world.

Now, to be clear, we do not mention these examples because we think this media coverage will lead to the departure of Jeff Bezos, only to illustrate that making an investment decision based on this alone would be nonsensical; a company the size of Amazon is simply not the well-oiled machine that it is because of one person, no matter who they are.

As for where we stand, we actually think this is turning into a win for the company. Not only is the coverage coming out in favor of Bezos, with many heralding him as a hero for standing up to the blackmail so many of his status receive on a regular basis (even if it never makes the news), we think Bezos' response points to a mindset and personality that not only doesn't pullback in the face of this kind of adversity but actually gets charged up and motivated. We think Bezos is ready to rally the troops, go on the offensive and show everyone that dirty games won't derail the ambitions of Amazon.

What does this mean for members? While general risks remain, including the S&P Short Range Oscillator pointing to a market that is still technically slightly overbought and uncertainty relating to the U.S./China trade negotiations, our stance on Amazon remains unchanged. As we called out on Friday, while the stock could see some pressure relating to guidance for increased investments in 2019, we continue to view Amazon as being one of the best stories in technology and believe weakness, especially weakness relating to headlines about the potential release of these personal messages, should be viewed as a buying opportunity.

Let's look back at the last time the Amazon name was battered by headline risk. It was the spring of 2018, and the President repeatedly put Amazon on blast over the company's shipping relationship with the U.S. Postal Service. Every time Amazon was mentioned in one of President's tweets, the stock got hit.

But as we said in our Alert here, those types of pullbacks needed to be bought because the risk to the fundamentals of the company were not there. Also, management was able to quickly put this negative attention in the rear-view mirror by reminding the world of how successful the company was growing. About two weeks after our post, Bezos released his annual shareholder letter and disclosed that Amazon Prime Membership had surpassed the 100 million mark -- a true milestone event that exemplified the power of the Amazon Fly-Wheel.

About one week after that, management flexed its muscles again and delivered a massive earnings per share beat that more than doubled the consensus expectation. Top line growth accelerated in the profit engine divisions of AWS and Advertising, and management announced a key price hike in Prime membership. The stock was off to the races only to stumble during last year's market-wide pullback. Still, you are up if you bought that March-April headline risk.

Simply put, a person like Bezos, is not going to allow something like this to derail Amazon's ambitions and if anything, we believe his going public actually removes what could have potentially become a disastrous series of headlines, while at the same time, freeing him of potential "attention suck" that may very well have distracted him, had he been focused on keeping the matter out of the public spotlight (i.e., a weight has likely been removed from his shoulders), especially given the positive feedback his decision to go public has received.

That said, we want to stress that this is an ongoing story and we can easily see more pressure on the stock as a result. Therefore we want to stress that the implementation of "wider scales" is our recommended method of attack, i.e. we advise that members should wait for more meaningful pullbacks below their overall cost basis than they normally would in order to both leave room for additional buys on prolonged weakness and allow for the ability maximize the impact each buy has on one's overall cost basis. Remember, lowering one's overall cost basis on weakness is how we set ourselves up for greater long-term success.

Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, is long AMZN, MSFT, AAPL, CRM.