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This could push Amazon’s Jeff Bezos past Bill Gates as the world’s richest human

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 3/31/2017 Tomi Kilgore

Jeff Bezos is on track to be the world’s richest human© Provided by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Jeff Bezos is on track to be the world’s richest human

It won’t be long until Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos is shouting, “I’m the king of the world!”

Bezos just leapfrogged the venerable Warren Buffett to become the world’s second-richest human, according to Thursday’s reading of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. At $75.6 billion, Bezos is still worth $10.4 billion less than No. 1 Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft Corp., but the recent relative trajectory of Amazon’s stock suggests that gap could be closed sooner, rather than later.

© Provided by Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Bezos is by far Amazon’s largest shareholder, owning 80,897,696 million shares, or 16.95% of the shares outstanding, according to data from the latest regulatory filings, valued at $70.73 billion through Wednesday. That means a $1 gain in Amazon’s stock (AMZN) which represents a 0.1% move at current prices, puts about $81 million into Bezos’ pocket.

All else being equal, that means Bezos would pass Gates’s current standing if Amazon’s stock climbs to $1,002.88, which is $128.56, or 15%, above Wednesday’s closing price of $874.32.

Considering Amazon’s stock has run up 17% year to date, and 46% over the past 12 months, that could happen as soon as the next several months.

In comparison, Microsoft shares (MSFT) have gained 5.6%, Berkshire Hathaway’s Class A shares (BRK) have tacked on 3.1% and the S&P 500 index (SPX) has advanced 5.8% so far this year.

© Provided by Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Gates owned 174,992,934 shares of Microsoft, or 2.26% of the shares outstanding, according to SEC filings, valued at $11.46 billion. The rest of his holdings are managed through Cascade Investments, Bloomberg said.

The 295,000 shares of Berkshire Hathaway’s Class A shares that Buffett owns, according to FactSet, is worth about $73.68 billion.

No less than five analysts surveyed by FactSet have price targets for Amazon that are above $1,000, the highest being the $1,250 target set by analyst Shyam Patil at Susquehanna Financial, which would make Bezos the first $100 billion man. Patil said he believes the stock can get there, given its secular strength in e-commerce and the cloud (hello, Alexa?), as well as its continued investment in digital content and the build-out of fulfillment centers.

At Patil’s target, Bezos would be worth about $106 billion.

Don’t miss: Amazon to buy Middle East e-commerce site Souq.com.

See also: Amazon’s stock surges to record high as ‘retail dominance’ drives investor interest.

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