Amazon swings to loss as string of US firms miss

AMAZON shares took a tumble last night, after disappointing financial results for the second quarter were announced, showing a surprise loss and shrunken operating income

The online retail giant swung to a net loss of $7m (£4.56m), falling short of analysts’ forecasts of a small profit and last year’s quarterly earnings of $7m.

Operating income plunged 26 per cent compared with the second quarter of last year, from $107m to $79m.

The company said unfavourable exchange rates had knocked $18m off its operating income.

While net sales rose by more than a fifth on last year to $15.7bn, the firm’s non-US business struggled to break even in the period

The world’s biggest internet store was cautious about the coming quarter, forecasting a 12 per cent sales rise alongside an operating loss of between $65m and $440m.

Shares initially lurched lower in after hours trading, before stabilising about two per cent below their pre-announcement level.

• CROCS, the fashion brand known for its unusual shoes, was also hit hard yesterday, with shares falling by 23 per cent. The company’s net income dropped to $35.4m in the second quarter, from $61.5m in the same period 12 months earlier. Crocs identified unplanned discounts and cold weather as major reasons for the reduction.

• EXPEDIA joined the US fallers yesterday, with shares tanking almost 25 per cent after-hours following a 32 per cent drop in net profit to $71.5m. The firm blamed soaring costs and a poor performance from hotel site Hotwire.com.

• BUT FACEBOOK fared much more favourably yesterday, with its shares spiking 31.6 per cent to a session high of $34.88, the highest point since just after its IPO. The surge started just after the open in New York, following the firm’s announcement of $333m profits. The social network floated in May 2012 at $38 per share, but hit a low of $17.55 in September last year.