Amazon first quarter earnings smash market expectations

Oliver Gill
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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was particularly pleased with Amazon's first year performance in India (Source: Getty)

Amazon beat market expectations on its first quarter figures, posting a 23 per cent growth in net sales.

The firm generated $724m of net income, a considerable jump on the same period in 2016, prompting shares in the Seattle-based firm to climb 3.5 per cent in after hours trading.

The figures

Net sales increased 23 per cent to $35.7bn (£27.7bn) in the first quarter, compared with $29.1bn in 2016 – sales did include a $492m boost from foreign currency movements.

Operating income decreased six per cent to $1.0bn in the first quarter, compared with $1.1bn.

Net income was $724m in the first quarter, or $1.48 per share, compared with net income of $513m, 12 months beforehand.

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Operating cash flow increased 53 per cent to $17.6bn over the last 12 months, as compared with $10.2bn generated in the year to March 2016.

Free cash flow was up $10.2bn over the year, up from $6.7bn.

Why it's interesting

The group's net income of $1.48 per share was the eighth quarter in a row that Amazon has posted a net profit and it was considerably ahead of market expectations. A poll of Thomson Reuters analysts expected on average that the firm would post a profit of $1.12 per share.

Meanwhile, Amazon treated investors to two pages of small print, bullet pointed "Highlights" in its investor release this evening.

A poll by the Institute of Customer Service (which polled 10,000 people) ranked as number one in terms of customer satisfaction, for the second consecutive year.

Read more: Amazon's creating more than 1,000 new jobs in the UK

Across the pond, the firm also hailed its tie-up with the NFL to live stream American football in the season that starts later this year.

The firm was also very excited about its performance in India, which boss Bezos was particularly glowing about (see below).

What the company said

Amazon founder and chief exec Jeff Bezos said:

“Our India team is moving fast and delivering for customers and sellers.

"The team has increased Prime selection by 75 per cent since launching the program nine months ago, increased fulfilment capacity for sellers by 26 per cent already this year, announced 18 Indian Original TV series, and just last week introduced a Fire TV Stick optimised for Indian customers with integrated voice search in English and Hindi,”

"We’re grateful that customers are responding - is the most visited and the fastest growing marketplace in India.

"It’s still Day One for e-commerce in India, and I assure you that we’ll keep investing in technology and infrastructure while working hard to invent on behalf of our customers and small and medium businesses in India."

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