Shares of Amazon dipped more than 2 percent in after-hours trading after the company missed profit expectations for its second quarter earnings report.
Revenue: Amazon posted $63.4 billion in revenue, up 20 percent from the year-ago quarter. Analysts expected $62.5 billion.
Profit: Amazon reported earnings per share of $5.22, missing expectations of $5.57, but up from $5.07 last year.
Stock: Amazon’s stock is still up 30 percent this year, well ahead of the 20 percent spike for the S&P 500.
Outlook: Amazon expects Q3 sales between $66 billion and $70 billion, up 17 to 24 percent year-over-year. Operating income is projected down as much as $1.6 billion in current quarter, suggesting that the company is spending big on new initiatives. Amazon said previously that it would spend as much as $800 million in the recently completed quarter as it shifts from two- to one-day shopping as its core Amazon Prime benefit.
“Customers are responding to Prime’s move to one-day delivery — we’ve received a lot of positive feedback and seen accelerating sales growth,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “Free one-day delivery is now available to Prime members on more than ten million items, and we’re just getting started. A big thank you to the team for continuing to make life easier for customers.”
On a media call with reporters, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said that expenses from the one-day shipping initiative came slightly above the projected $800 million.
Amazon Web Services: Amazon’s cloud business was up 37 percent at $8.4 billion, with $2.1 billion in operating income, continuing to help drive Amazon’s profits. Revenue slightly missed expectations of $8.5 billion. AWS accounts for 13 percent of Amazon’s revenue and 67 percent of total operating income. Amazon had a 32 percent market share of the cloud market at the end of 2018, ahead of second-place Microsoft Azure at 16 percent.
Advertising: The company’s growing advertising arm doesn’t have its own category and is listed under a category called “Other.” That category brought in $3 billion in revenue in the quarter, up 37 percent over a year ago. The explosive growth of that business has slowed somewhat over the past year.
Physical stores: Amazon posted a gain of 1 percent to $4.3 billion. The category includes Whole Foods and Amazon Go stores.
Headcount: Amazon now employs 653,300 people, up 13 percent year-over-year.
Prime: Subscription services revenue, which includes Prime memberships, came in at $4.7 billion, up 39 percent. Amazon said it had more than 100 million Prime members in April 2018; it has not provided an updated number since then. A report last week from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners said Amazon had 95 million U.S. Prime members, with year-over-year membership growth slowing.
Shipping costs: Amazon’s shipping costs have ballooned in recent years as the company aims to speed up delivery. During Q2, Amazon spent $8.1 billion on shipping, up 36 percent. In 2018, Amazon spent $27.7 billion on shipping, an increase of $6 billion or roughly 27.6 percent over the prior year, according to GeekWire research. The company announced the one-day shipping initiative in April.
Stay tuned for more details this afternoon as Amazon hosts its post-earnings media and investor calls.
Analysis: Amazon continues to invest heavily in delivery infrastructure and is facing antitrust scrutiny. But the second-most valuable company in the U.S. — behind only Microsoft — does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
At least that’s what analysts are predicting. In a note to investors, RBC listed a 12-month price target of $2,300 with an “outperform” rating. It estimates Amazon accounts for roughly 20 percent of U.S. online retail sales, “but the company’s strong mobile positioning and infrastructure advantages facilitating next-day and same-day delivery should allow Amazon to continue to take share,” according to the note.
Some see even more growth ahead. An analyst with Piper Jaffray told CNBC that Amazon stock could be “on the cusp of a major breakout” with a “clear path to an all-time high of $2,700.”
Amazon’s second quarter revenue:
2019: $63.4 billion
2018: $52.9 billion
2017: $37.9 billion
2016: $30.4 billion
2015: $23.2 billion
2014: $19.3 billion
2013: $15.7 billion
2012: $12.8 billion
2011: $9.9 billion
2010: $6.6 billion
2009: $4.7 billion
2008: $4.1 billion
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) July 25, 2019
The past three months marked another eventful quarter for Amazon. The company faced heavy antitrust scrutiny both in the U.S. and Europe, which launched a formal investigation into the company earlier this month. It answered the most pointed questions during an antitrust hearing before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
Some experts like Dan Ives, managing director of equity research firm Wedbush Securities, believe U.S. regulators have the best antitrust case against Amazon out of the four companies that testified at the hearing. This week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that Amazon “destroyed the retail industry across the United States so there’s no question they’ve limited competition.”
Amazon this quarter expanded its Amazon Go footprint; announced a big bet on satellites; grew its logistics arm; continued vyingfor the key JEDI contract; readied for big growth in Bellevue, Wash.; and faced employee demands on climate change. It also continues to invest in streaming media but is facing struggles in Hollywood.