Feeds

Amazon reports rare profit and is punished by Wall Street

Moneymen scalp Bezos's firm for successfully piloting flying pigs

Top three mobile application threats

E-retail bellwether Amazon badly missed Wall Street expectations on Thursday, causing its shares to fall – even though it reported a healthy profit.

The e-retail giant reported earnings per share of $0.51 and net sales of $25.59bn for its fourth quarter of 2013 on Thursday, missing Wall Street estimates of $0.66 and $26.06bn by a wide margin. As a result, Amazon's shares were trading down around four and a half percent on Thursday.

Some of the softer-than-expected growth may have come from weakness in international markets, and from consumers switching over to buying more low-cost digital items over physical ones, Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak said on an earnings call to discuss the results.

In a change for the typically profit-shy company, Amazon reported an operating income of $510m for the quarter, compared with a loss of $25m in the previous quarter, and a profit of $405m in the fourth quarter of 2012.

It also reported strong growth in the "other" revenue section, in which it hides its Amazon Web Services cloud – though these numbers demonstrated slower quarter-on-quarter growth than before.

"It's a good time to be an Amazon customer," said the company's chief Jeff Bezos in a statement. "You can now read your Kindle gate-to-gate, get instant on-device tech support via our revolutionary Mayday button, and have packages delivered to your door even on Sundays."

Those good times may not go on for long, though, as on the earnings call Szkutak said Amazon was planning on raising the price of the company's $79-per-year Amazon Prime service by between $20 and $40.

Sales for the full year were $74.45bn compared with $61.09bn in 2012, and operating income for the year was $745m.

During 2013, Amazon released new Kindle models, made multiple upgrades to Amazon Prime, expanded its Amazon Studios programs in response to continued investment by Netflix, made numerous upgrades and enhancements to its Amazon Web Services cloud, and took part in a televised fluffathon in which it told the world it was investigating delivery-by-drone technology.

Purchases of property and equipment – data centers and warehouses, mainly – fell to $3.44bn for the quarter compared with $4.59bn in the previous quarter.

This, combined with slowing growth in the bit barn-based Amazon Web Services division caused analysts on the call to ask whether Amazon expected slower growth in the future; Amazon's chief financial officer Tom Szkutak denied this. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.