Amazon revenue jumps 39 percent in second quarter


Amazon reported its third straight quarterly profit on Thursday — sending its shares to a new all-time high.

The profit for the Jeff Bezos e-commerce Goliath — across its retailing and cloud services operations — sent shares up as much as 3.4 percent in after-market trading, to $1,870.

The earnings of $5.07 per share were than double the $2.50 that Wall Street had been expecting. Revenue came in at $52.9 billion, just 1 percent shy of the $53.41 billion forecast.

Amazon’s third-quarter revenue guidance of $54 billion to $57.5 billion, indicating a growth rate between 23 percent and 31 percent, also fell short of analysts’ estimates of $55.6 billion to $62.2 billion.

On a year-over-year basis, net sales of $52.9 billion represented a 39 percent increase, while net income of $2.5 billion advanced more than 25 times.

The gain boosted Amazon’s market cap to $904 billion — second only to Apple’s $955 billion and still in the race to be the first to reach $1 trillion.

Moody’s retail analyst Charlie O’Shea said Amazon’s results made for “a blow-out quarter by virtually any measurement — with the global retail business turning profitable as North America, aided by Whole Foods, posted operating income of over $1.8 billion.”

CEO Bezos played up Alexa in Amazon’s statement about the quarter, saying sales of Alexa-enabled devices had more than tripled in the past year.

The virtual assistant, initially used in the Amazon Echo, can now be found in sound bars from Polk and Sonos, headphones from Jabra, smart home devices from ecobee and First Alert, as well as BMW, Ford and Toyota autos, Bezos said.

CFO Brian Olsavsky attributed Amazon’s soaring earnings to “a mix of operating efficiencies,” but he singled out Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing platform, for posting its third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth.

AWS sales increased 48.9 percent, to $6.1 billion, generating an operating margin of 27 percent — three times greater than the company’s overall margin.

“A big milestone this quarter was to launch Prime Now with Whole Foods,” Olsavsky said, adding that Prime members were adopting the 10 percent discounts on hundreds of Whole Foods products “at a faster rate than we’ve ever seen.”

The company’s fourth annual Prime Day, which Amazon called its biggest global shopping event ever, was presented as another highlight of the quarter, with members purchasing more than 100 million products and spending in excess of $1.5 billion.

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