Amazon (AMZN) has announced that it has begun the work of building incremental testing capacity for Covid-19.
A team of Amazon employees with various skills – from research scientists and program managers to procurement specialists and software engineers – have moved from their normal day jobs onto a dedicated team to work on this initiative.
The company has now begin assembling the equipment it needs to build the first lab and hopes to start testing small numbers of front-line employees soon.
“We are not sure how far we will get in the relevant timeframe, but we think it’s worth trying, and we stand ready to share anything we learn with others” AMZN revealed in a blog post on Thursday.
As the company points out, “If every person, including people with no symptoms, could be tested regularly, it would make a huge difference in how we are all fighting this virus. Those who test positive could be quarantined and cared for, and everyone who tests negative could re-enter the economy with confidence.”
At the same time, AMZN is also testing the use of disinfectant fog at its warehouse in Staten Island, New York, following worker protests over health and safety concerns.
Shares in Amazon have soared 11% year-to-date on the back of a coronavirus-related demand boom for essentials and e-commerce. According to TipRanks, the stock boasts a Strong Buy analyst consensus, with 38 out of 39 analysts bullish on the company’s prospects. That’s with a $2,430 average analyst price target (19% upside potential). (See Amazon’s stock analysis on TipRanks)
Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein recently commented “While some items are taking longer to be delivered, and grocery-delivery capacity is strained, we think Amazon is seeing record consumer demand, with share gains likely to remain post-virus.”