What has Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) done lately for investors? Last night the e-commerce giant reported a 29% jump in sales to $56.6 billion in the third quarter and net income more than 10 times net income posted in the same period a year ago. As a reward, the company’s stock traded down more than 10% in Friday’s premarket.
The pounding is no doubt due to a top-line miss compared with estimates for $57.1 billion in revenue. Analysts were also expecting earnings per share (EPS) of $3.14 and Amazon responded with EPS of $5.75. For some reason, the punishment does not seem to fit the crime.
That is especially so when you look at some other items on which Amazon performed very well. Like advertising, where revenue rose 122% to $2.5 billion. In the trailing 12 months, Amazon’s advertising revenue (categorized as “Other” in the company’s earnings report) has reached nearly $8.5 billion.
That’s still a far cry from market leaders Alphabet and Facebook. Alphabet, for example, reported quarterly total ad revenue of $28.95 billion last night, up 20% year over year. For the year to date, Alphabet’s ad revenue totals $83.68 billion, nearly 10 times Amazon’s year-to-date total.
Amazon’s ad revenue broke through the billion-dollar level in the third quarter of last year. There’s no reason to believe that it won’t double again by this time next year. eMarketer cited Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky who said:
We are seeing really strong adoption across a number of groups. Amazon vendors and sellers for sure, authors, as well as third-party advertisers who want to reach Amazon customers.
eMarketer’s senior forecasting director Monica Peart also commented:
Amazon’s other revenues, representing primarily advertising, shows that third-party sellers are investing in ads on the platform at similar levels as the past two quarters, a trend that bodes well for the platform’s advertising revenues during the Q4 holiday shopping season.
eMarketer expects Amazon to rise from its current position as the fifth-largest ad seller in the United States to the third largest by 2020.
Amazon shares traded down 9.5% shortly after Friday’s opening bell, at $1,613.62 in a 52-week range of $968.55 to $2,050.50.