Amazon Revenues Climb 20 Percent to $72.4 Billion

Posted on January 31, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon with 1 Comment

Amazon.com delivered revenues of $72.4 billion, capping off a year in which it reported total revenues of $232.9 billion. Both are double-digit improvements over the previous year. But its forecast for the current quarter underwhelmed investors, sending the firm’s stock tumbling.

“Alexa was very busy during her holiday season,” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in his only statement about earnings. “Echo Dot was the best-selling item across all products on Amazon globally, and customers purchased millions more devices from the Echo family compared to last year. We’re energized by and grateful for the response, and you can count on us to keep working hard to bring even more invention to customers.”

Amazon’s profits were up dramatically year-over-year as well. Net income for the quarter was $3 billion, up from $1.9 billion in the year-ago quarter. For the year, Amazon posted a net income of $10.1 billion, up from $3 billion the prior year.

As for hard numbers, that’s about it. Aside from Bezos’ disconnected Alexa promotion, the firm provided a number of other weird, squishy milestones. Select examples include:

  • “Tens of millions” of customers worldwide started Prime free trials or began paid memberships during the holiday season.
  • More customers signed up for Prime worldwide in 2018 than ever before.
  • It was the biggest holiday shopping season ever for Amazon devices, with customers purchasing millions more devices compared to the 2017 holiday shopping season.
  • The new Echo Dot was the best-selling product on Amazon globally, from any manufacturer, in any category this holiday season.
  • Ring had its best quarter ever, selling “millions” of devices globally.
  • The number of devices with Alexa built-in more than doubled in 2018 to over 150.

Looking ahead, Amazon expects to deliver revenues of $56 billion to $60 billion in the current quarter and to grow from 10 to 18 percent year-over-year. However, this guidance was below expectations—Amazon blames an “unfavorable impact of … foreign exchange rates”—sending its stock price tumbling.

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