The big question today was whether Amazon would post positive earnings, and the answer is sort of.
Amazon reported revenue net sales of $29.33 billion and diluted earnings per share of $0.45. Analysts expected earnings of $0.17 cents per share on revenue of $29.67 billion.
But what really has investors excited is a profit of $214 million.
Amazon has been on the decline for the past two quarters. During the second quarter of 2014 the company reported losses of $126 million in earnings, or ($0.27) a share, and by the third quarter Amazon was reporting losses of $0.95 cents a share.
Earnings have never been Amazon’s focus. The company famously prizes product growth and traffic over earnings. To that effect, Amazon reported strong sales of $88.99 billion, compared with $74.45 billion in the third quarter of 2013.
Worldwide membership of Amazon Prime grew 53 percent in 2014 “on a base of tens of millions,” the company reports. The annual membership gives customers access to free two-day shipping as well as a host of content — like its award-winning original series Transparent.
Amazon launched a number of competitive products this quarter, including a one-hour delivery service called Prime Now that operates in New York City; and Amazon Echo, a $200 voice-activated speaker that plays music and the news, as well as answers questions. All these serve to get Amazon’s brand in more places, which conceivably will lead back to more sales for its e-commerce site.
Looking forward to next quarter, Amazon expects net sales to be between $20.9 billion and $22.9 billion, a growth of 6 to 16 percent from first quarter 2014. Operating losses are believed to run a wide range between $450 million and $50 million. In Q1 of 2014, Amazon saw net losses of $146 million.
In after-hours trading Amazon’s stock is up over seven percent.