Thursday 30 July 2020 9:14 pm

Amazon blows past estimates in revenue and profit beat

Amazon surprised investors as it beat analyst estimates for second-quarter revenue and profit by a long shot, sealing off a strong quarter for the e-commerce retailer.

Amazon reported a net income of $5.2bn in the second quarter, or $10.30 per diluted share, doubling its profit from a year earlier of $2.6bn.

Analysts had been expecting earnings per share of just $1.46, marking a major surprise on Wall Street.

Meanwhile net sales came in at $88.9bn, compared to consensus projections of $81.24bn and rising 40 per cent from $63.4bn a year earlier.

Three months earlier, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos had said he wasn’t sure if the e-commerce giant would make it through the coronavirus pandemic without reporting a loss.

Its shares jumped more than six per cent in after-hours trading.

The company forecast net sales of $87bn to $93bn for the third quarter. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $86.34bn, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Amazon’s cloud services also saw strong demand as companies switched to virtual offices due to the spread of the pandemic.

Revenue from Amazon Web Services (AWS), which sells data storage and computing power in the cloud, surged nearly 29 per cent to $10.81bn.

The results follow the testimony of Bezos yesterday in front of Congress yesterday, at which he was probed by politicians on Amazon’s seller policies and treatment of third parties on its marketplace platform.

Under questioning he did not deny the statements made in an April newspaper report, which said Amazon uses data it gains from third-party sellers on its marketplace to inform its own product strategy.

One US representative said the committee’s own investigation had found Amazon uses aggregate data to gain access to highly detailed information on smaller product categories so it can exploit it for its own competing products.

Bezos said he was looking into the report “carefully”, but that it had “not yet gotten to the bottom of it”.