Why Amazon Earnings Are So Great

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Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) released its most recent quarterly report after markets closed Thursday. The e-commerce giant posted $3.75 in earnings per share (EPS) and $60.5 billion in revenue, which compares to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $1.85 in EPS and $59.83 billion in revenue. The fourth quarter from last year had $1.54 in EPS and $43.74 billion in revenue.

For the fourth quarter, net income was $1.9 billion compared with net income of $749 million last year. This quarter also includes a provisional tax benefit for the impact of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 of roughly $789 million.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced several enterprise customers during the quarter: Expedia, Ellucian, and DigitalGlobe are going all-in on AWS. Disney and Turner also named AWS their preferred public cloud provider.

In terms of its segments, Amazon reported:

  • North America net sales increased 42% year over year to $37.3 billion.
  • International net sales increased 29% to $18.0 billion.
  • AWS net sales increased 44.6% to $5.11 billion.

Looking ahead to the first quarter, Amazon expects to see operating income in the range of $300 million to $1.0 billion and net sales in the range of $47.75 billion to $50.75 billion. There are consensus estimates calling for $1.80 in EPS and $48.73 billion in revenue for the coming quarter.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, commented:

Our 2017 projections for Alexa were very optimistic, and we far exceeded them. We don’t see positive surprises of this magnitude very often — expect us to double down. We’ve reached an important point where other companies and developers are accelerating adoption of Alexa. There are now over 30,000 skills from outside developers; customers can control more than 4,000 smart home devices from 1,200 unique brands with Alexa; and we’re seeing strong response to our new far-field voice kit for manufacturers. Much more to come and a huge thank you to our customers and partners.

Shares of Amazon closed Thursday at $1,390.00, with a consensus analyst price target of $1,379.69 and a 52-week range of $803.00 to $1,472.58. Following the announcement the stock was up 2% at $1,423.00 in the after-hours trading session.