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Amazon posts record profit of $3.6 bn, smashes industry expectations

Its booming cloud business continued high growth

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MUMBAI: E-commerce giant Amazon posted its first-quarter earnings beating analysts’ expectations for profit. It reported $3.6 billion net income in the quarter, more than twice the investors’ predictions. However, the $59.7 billion revenue of the company was in line with Wall Street expectations, up 16 per cent year-over-year.

While the Jeff Bezos-led company saw fatter profit margin, it witnessed the slowest growth period since first quarter of 2015 in terms of revenue. While its North American revenue saw a 17 per cent increase, compared with last year’s 46 per cent growth, Amazon’s international growth dropped to just 9 per cent, down from the previous year’s 34 per cent growth rate.

Amazon’s booming cloud business continued its growth with 41 per cent sales increase to $7.70 billion. But the ‘other’ segment of the company which includes the retail giant’s advertising business significantly slowed down. The segment touched $2.72 billion revenue, up 34 per cent year-on-year while it grew at least 60 per cent in the past five quarters.

To maintain its growth momentum, the company is now heavily leaning on cloud computing and advertising. Amazon is continuing to invest heavily in artificial intelligence, the smart home, and physical retail which may not give fast results.

Net sales are expected to be between $59.5 billion and $63.5 billion for next quarter as the company guided, or to grow between 13 per cent and 20 per cent compared with the second quarter of 2018. The company expects operating income to be between $2.6 billion and $3.6 billion, compared with $3.0 billion in the second quarter 2018.

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