Amazon blows away analysts’ revenue and profit expectations, as online shopping continues to surge



Jeff Bezos wearing a suit and tie: Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos speaks at an event in Washington. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts


© REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos speaks at an event in Washington. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Amazon reported a huge earnings beat across the board on Thursday.

But its stock dropped about 1% in after-hours trading, as fourth-quarter profit estimates came in below Street estimates. Amazon shares are up over 70% this year.

Here are the most important numbers versus what analysts were forecasting: 

  • EPS (GAAP): $12.37 vs. $7.41
  • Revenue: $96.1 billion vs. $92.71 billion 
  • AWS: $11.6 billion vs. $11.61 billion 

Amazon’s sales grew 37% to $96.1 billion in the third quarter, driven by the heightened demand in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Net profit roughly tripled to $6.33 billion.

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement that the company is seeing a record number of shoppers.

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“We’re seeing more customers than ever shopping early for their holiday gifts, which is just one of the signs that this is going to be an unprecedented holiday season,” Bezos said in the earnings statement.

The lockdown-driven demand increase is expected to continue through the holiday season, as Amazon gave revenue guidance in the range of $112.0 billion to $121.0 billion, above analyst expectations of $112.7 billion. 

But Amazon said operating profits are likely going to take a hit in the fourth quarter, as it expects to spend approximately $4 billion on COVID-related costs. Amazon said its fourth-quarter operating profits will fall between $1.0 billion and $4.5 billion, below the $5.81 billion Street estimate.

Amazon Web Services had $11.6 billion in sales, up 29%, which is in line with Street expectations. Amazon’s “other” segment, which is mostly comprised of its advertising business, reported $5.4 billion in sales, a 51% jump from the year-ago period. Physical store sales, meanwhile, dropped 10% to $3.78 billion.

Amazon’s total employee count grew 50% from last year, and now stands at 1.13 million, the first time it crossed the 1 million mark.

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