August 11, 2017 / 5:36 PM / 2 years ago

Factbox: Amazon still a hot topic on earnings calls

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As second-quarter earnings season winds down, Inc (AMZN.O) remains a hot topic on company conference calls.

The logo of the web service Amazon is pictured in this June 8, 2017 illustration photo. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/Illustration

The e-commerce titan has been mentioned about 150 times on conference calls of S&P 1500 companies .SPSUP since the start of July, according to a Reuters review of transcripts. That is more than one-tenth of all calls over that time, twice as many mentions as Google or its parent Alphabet (GOOGL.O) and three times as many as Apple (AAPL.O).

Not all the mentions indicate worry about Amazon’s presence, with some companies talking up partnerships with Amazon, for example. But the preponderance of mentions indicates the company’s broad reach.

Following are a few excerpted comments from the past week, during which Amazon was mentioned on more than 20 of the over 150 earnings calls, including in responses by executives to questions from analysts. The excerpts are edited for length so may not include the company’s complete response to a question:

* Larry Merlo, CEO of pharmacy chain CVS Health (CVS.N), responding to question on Aug. 8 call about Amazon as potential competitive threat, particularly in retail side of business:

“There’s no question that Amazon is a competitor in the marketplace. They’ve done a great job, and you don’t take anything that they’re doing for granted. But at the same time, I think that we have a lot of capabilities and a value proposition that can compete effectively in the market.”

* Stephen Hare, CFO of retailer Office Depot (ODP.O), in response to question on Aug. 9 call about competition from new entrants such as Amazon Business:

“...people, like an Amazon Business, are pulling away some business from our core customer base, even though they’re contract customers to us or to Staples. And that’s a phenomenon that we’re dealing with. And that’s also part of the sales change overall. But over time, our pace of wins should drive that number in a positive direction.”

* Glenn Fogel, CEO of travel website operator Priceline Group PCLN.O, on Aug. 8 call in responding to question about weighing low prices versus a traditional loyalty program:

“For the big picture, for us, it’s making sure that we have the absolute best product out there, providing it day in, day out, with the best customer service. And I will point to some people who aren’t competitors, but companies that I admire and look to them as a reference, and one right off the bat would be Amazon. And Amazon, through things that they have done, has produced great loyalty. Why? Because it’s an absolute great experience. It’s a great way to get products you need at a great price. And we have no shame in saying we’d like to do things like they do, which is doing things the right way all the time as opposed to trying to buy loyalty by just giving away product.”

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by David Gregorio

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