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Amazon could beat Apple to be the world’s first trillion-dollar company

Thanks to a surging stock market and the ever-onwards march of inflation, analysts are predicting that 2018 might be the year that a company finally cracks the $1 trillion ceiling. Apple, being the US’s most valuable company an all, is the obvious contender, but a new analyst note suggests that Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and ongoing focus on Amazon Prime could be enough to tip the company over the edge first.

Amazon’s market cap currently sits at $737.8 billion, with a share price of $1,521 at the time of writing. That means it’s got a lot further to go than Apple, which sits at a little over $900 billion right now. But GBH Insights analyst Dan Ives thinks that Amazon can do it, as he’s raised the target price for Jeff Bezos’s retail behemoth to $1,850, and he sees more growth in the near future.

“The Prime membership moat that [CEO Jeff] Bezos & Co. have built is gaining further steam in the field, and the Amazon ‘flywheel effect’ is further playing out globally among consumers,” Ives said in a note seen by CNBC. “The Bezos strategic path, both on the consumer and enterprise fronts, [is] still in the middle innings of playing out and Amazon remains a ‘green light’ name to own at these levels.”

After acquiring Whole Foods last year, Amazon hasn’t lost any time incentivizing its vast Amazon Prime membership to use the grocery chain. Prime members enjoy better deals at Whole Foods, and also get better rewards through Amazon’s Prime Visa card. Whole Foods products are also being sold through Amazon’s online grocery service, with potential for the two retail arms to grow even closer in the near future.

Apple, on the other hand, is in a rockier short-term position. While the iPhone X launch was a success, it hasn’t yet triggered the kind of “super-cycle” that Apple’s investors were hoping for, and the share price took a big dive last month, before a recent rebound.