Amazon Continues With Almost Zero Margin in Earnings

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Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is out with its first quarter earnings report for 2015, and the company did not follow Apple in its effort to make shares more affordable via a stock split. Jeff Bezos and friends reported earnings with net income of $0.23 per share on revenue of $19.74 billion.

Thomson Reuters had estimates of $0.23 in earnings per share on revenues of $19.4 billion. The retailer of everything online had earnings of $0.18 per share and revenue of $16.07 billion a year ago.

Amazon ended the quarter with about $8.6 billion in cash and marketable securities. Amazon’s return on invested capital was listed as 9%, but its operating margin was a pathetic 0.7%.

Our biggest question is how long Amazon will be free to operate on close to zero margins. Jeff Bezos has been able to sell his vision out to 2016 or 2020 for years now, but Amazon’s market cap of $154 billion just feels even larger than that huge number when you consider that it trades at 175-times expected 2014 earnings and over 80-times expected 2015 earnings.

ALSO READ: 5 Serious Stock Split Candidates After Apple

As far as guidance for the coming quarter, net sales are expected to up 15% to 26% to be between $18.1 billion and $19.8 billion. Operating income is projected to be -$455 million to -$55 million, including roughly $455 million for extraordinary items. Thomson Reuters had estimates of $0.66 EPS and $4.15 billion in revenue.

Amazon was feeling some of the post-split Apple love today as the stock was up almost 3.9% at $337.15 at the close against a 52-week range of $245.75 to $408.06. The consensus analyst price target going into earnings was $433.62, but many analysts did not ratchet their prices lower during the major selloff.

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