Shares of Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, climbed over 5% to a new all-time high for the stock — giving the colossal company a market value of more than $1.1 trillion.
Amazon’s stock was up 4.2% in Tuesday morning trading to over $2,260 per share, topping its previous all-time high on Feb. 19 when it closed at $2,170.22 per share. It ended the day up 5.3% to $2,283.32.
Amid the economic devastation inflicted by the COVID-19 crisis and mass quarantines, Amazon has been among the “stay-at-home” stocks investors have flocked to, alongside companies including Netflix, Zoom and Domino’s.
To meet the increased demand, Amazon hired an additional 100,000 full- and part-time workers for its operations network and said it was investing over $350 million globally to increase pay. On Monday, the company said it plans to hire an additional 75,000 employees “to help serve customers during this unprecedented time.”
Amazon’s response during the COVID-19 has also drawn controversy. Employees and company critics have alleged the company has failed to adequately protect workers from coronavirus infection, a situation that has drawn protests among warehouse workers. Amazon has subsequently fired employees who have spoken out against its practices.
On Monday, the Washington Post reported that the company fired two tech staffers who had been publicly critical of Amazon. According an Amazon rep, the employees were fired for “repeatedly violating internal policies.”
Amazon says it has taken numerous efforts to protect its workforce during the COVID-19 outbreak. The company has implemented more than 150 “significant process changes” to support employee teams, according to a spokesperson. That includes increasing pay rates; adjusting time off; and providing temperature checks, masks, gloves and other safety measures at its shipping facilities.
Meanwhile, Amazon is temporarily wait-listing new customers for Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh pickup and delivery to prioritize grocery orders from existing customers. Over the last several weeks, the company said, it has expanded Whole Foods grocery pickup from about 80 stores to more than 150. It’s curtailing hours for some Whole Foods locations to focus exclusively on fulfilling online grocery orders.
With the stock at all-time highs, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos currently has a net worth of $137 billion, according to Forbes. Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, ranks as the wealthiest individual in the world. Earlier this month, Bezos donated $100 million to food-bank organization Feeding America. In February, he announced the formation of a $10 billion fund to combat climate change.