Sat, Jul 28, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Amazon quarterly profit tops US$2bn

AP, NEW YORK

Workers react as they play foosball during lunch break at the Amazon.com Inc fulfillment center in Passo Corese, Italy, on Thursday.

Photo: Bloomberg

Amazon.com Inc’s quarterly profit soared past US$2 billion for the first time as its online shopping, cloud computing and advertising businesses kept growing.

The company, which has expanded far beyond its online bookseller beginnings, is also moving into healthcare and building up its physical presence as it cements customer loyalty through its smart devices and Prime membership of shipping and streaming perks.

Revenue soared 39 percent in the second quarter, but missed analysts’ expectations.

The financial results still pleased investors, who sent its shares up more than 3 percent to US$1,866.55 in after-hours trading. Its stock is already up nearly 72 percent in the last year, and Amazon is getting closer to surpassing iPhone maker Apple Inc as the world’s most valuable company.

Revenue for the quarter came to US$52.89 billion, below the US$53.37 billion analysts expected. The company’s physical stores brought in US$4.3 billion, most of which came from its Whole Foods Market Inc grocery chain.

Amazon, which bought Whole Foods last year, recently rolled out extra discounts for its Prime members at its US stores.

Outside of retail, Amazon’s Web Services unit — which provides cloud computing services to companies and government — has been a strong source of income and has helped offset the high costs associated with running its online store.

More recently, its advertising unit has become a multibillion dollar business, selling ads to companies that want their products to show up first when shoppers search on the site.

Amazon last month announced that it is buying the online pharmacy PillPack, pushing it deeper into the healthcare industry.

When asked about the deal on Thursday, Amazon executives gave no details on its plans for PillPack.

The deal is expected to close later this year.

For the three months ending June 30, Seattle-based Amazon reported net income of US$2.53 billion, or US$5.07 per share, blowing past the US$2.48 per share Wall Street analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Amazon said it expects to report revenue between US$54 billion and US$57.5 billion for the third quarter, below the US$58.1 billion Wall Street analysts expected.

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