Wednesday, 21 August, 2019


'Alexa was very busy': Amazon reports record profits and strong holiday season

'Alexa was very busy': Amazon reports record profits and strong holiday season 'Alexa was very busy': Amazon reports record profits and strong holiday season
Conrad Doyle | 01 February, 2019, 18:23

The company's $3 billion quarterly profit almost matched what it earned in all of 2017.

Looking at the company as a whole, holiday quarter sales hit $72.4 billion, up 20 per cent compared to the same period past year. The cost of stowing, packing and delivering goods increased 12 per cent in the holiday quarter to US$10 billion, in line with online sales growth of 12.5 per cent.

Amazon's "other" businesses, which is mostly online advertising, funnily enough, amounted to $3.4bn, up 95 per cent.

The e-commerce company on Thursday reported fourth-quarter revenue of $72.4 billion, up 20 percent and at the top of the company's guidance from October.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2019, Amazon is expecting net sales between $56 billion and $60 billion.

First published January 31, 1: 26 p.m. PT. Update, 2:14 p.m. PT: More details added throughout. Worldwide revenue was $20.8 billion. But he had few encouraging words about growth in India, saying the effects of new e-commerce regulations in the country are still uncertain.

The outlook overshadowed Amazon's record sales and profit during the holiday season. Amazon increased the price of Prime a year ago, and free two-day shipping has become a common offering from other retailers. Sales for the full year grew 31 percent to $232.9 billion.

"That number will move around", Olsavsky said on the earnings call.

Amazon Web Services- which provides cloud-computing services to Netflix, Samsung and NASA, among many others - continued to be another big revenue booster, with the segment posting 45 percent growth. The company has also committed to a major expansion in Virginia and NY with a $5 billion price tag.

Net income jumped 63 percent to $3 billion for the fourth quarter, ahead of analysts' estimates.

"At some point, they're going to have to look for more sales opportunities outside of traditional retail, otherwise the law of large numbers is going to have a greater impact on future sales growth", said Tom Forte, managing director and senior research analyst at D.A. Davidson. The cloud business has become crucial to the success of its parent, not only for revenue but also for profits.

On a 30-minute earnings call with analysts, Bezos' planned split from wife MacKenzie never came up - despite brewing concerns over how the couple of 25 years might divide up their 16 percent stake in Amazon and whether Bezos' role in the company could change as a result. AWS accounted for 10 percent of the company's net sales in the quarter, up from 8 percent in the year-earlier period. A lucrative cloud computing business, as well as fees that merchants pay Amazon to ship and advertise their products, has fattened the company's once-thin profit margin.

The results were the first to show the impact of Amazon's pay rise.

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