October 24, 2013 Last Updated 3:31 pm

Amazon.com sales up 24% in Q3, but company still posts loss

The online retailer Amazon.com seems to live in its own universe where revenue continues to climb, but profits are elusive. That is not so odd, ask Groupon about that. But what is odd is that the investors appear OK with it, so who are we to question things.

Amazon.com posted sold sales growth, up 24 percent to $17.09 billion in the third quarter, compared with $13.81 billion in third quarter 2012. The operating loss was $25 million in Q3, compared with an operating loss of $28 million in Q3 of 2012.

Net losses are a bit hard to compare thanks to a a LivingSocial write down last year, but the loss of $41 million was still below last year’s number.

From the press release:


“It’s been a busy few months—we launched a new Paperwhite and new Kindle Fires to positive reviews and surprised people with the revolutionary Mayday button—average Mayday response times are just 11 seconds!” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “And that’s not all. In the last 90 days, our AWS team got back to work on a big government contract, we brought 8 million square feet of fulfillment center capacity online, deployed 1,382 Kiva robots in three FCs, provided a new venue for artists to reach customers, signed up millions of new Prime members, announced Kindle MatchBook, Login & Pay, and nine new original TV pilots, joined the Code.org coalition, acquired TenMarks—a company that helps kids with math, scored a win for customers who want to use Kindles on airplanes even during takeoff and landing (also, a big hat tip to Nick Bilton on that one), began hiring and training 70,000 new U.S. FC employees to help serve customers this holiday season, and saw the Kindle Million Club grow to include 14 KDP authors.”


  • Amazon introduced the third generation of Kindle Fire—the all-new Kindle Fire HDX. The new Kindle Fire HDX tablets combine groundbreaking hardware, the latest version of Fire OS, and exclusive new features and services like X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the revolutionary new Mayday button.
  • The new Kindle Fire HDX family features stunning exclusive display with exceptional pixel density (323 ppi for 7”, 339 ppi for 8.9”), a powerful quad-core processor running at 2.2 GHz with over 3x the processing power compared to the previous generation, and a startlingly light design—at just 13.2 ounces, the 8.9” Kindle Fire HDX is the lightest large-screen tablet, 34% lighter than the previous generation.
  • Amazon also introduced the new $139 Kindle Fire HD, with a slimmer and lighter design, HD display, high-performance processor, and dual speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio.
  • Kindle Fire HDX includes the new Mayday button, delivering revolutionary live tech support—one touch connects you to an Amazon expert who can guide you remotely through any feature—24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free.
  • Amazon introduced new enterprise and productivity features in Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito,”—the next generation of software and services that powers the Kindle Fire tablets—including encryption, secure Wi-Fi, a native VPN client, Kerberos support for Intranet access, integration with leading Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions, a new email client, built-in OfficeSuite support and wireless printing capabilities. These features will be available on the new Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX.
  • Amazon announced that the world’s best-selling e-reader—Kindle Paperwhite—is getting even better. The all-new Kindle Paperwhite features new display technology with higher contrast, the next generation built-in light, a faster processor, the latest touch technology, and exclusive new features designed from the ground up for readers, including Kindle Page Flip, Goodreads, Kindle FreeTime, Smart Lookup, Vocabulary Builder, and more.
  • Amazon introduced Kindle MatchBook, a new benefit that gives customers the option to buy—for $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free—the Kindle edition of the print books they have purchased new from Amazon. Print purchases all the way back to 1995—when Amazon first opened its online bookstore—will qualify once a publisher enrolls a title in Kindle MatchBook.
  • Amazon launched the Mexico Kindle Store, offering Mexican customers over 2 million titles, hundreds of thousands of which are exclusive, and more than 70,000 in Spanish. In addition, Amazon announced that Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite are now on sale locally in Mexico at Gandhi stores. For more details, visit www.amazon.com.mx.
  • Building on a successful first round of pilots last April, Amazon announced it has given the green light for the production of six new pilots for kids, as well as three new half-hour pilots created by a mix of Oscar, Emmy and Tony-nominated writers. Customers will be invited to watch, provide feedback and help determine which pilots should be produced as series to air exclusively on Prime Instant Video and Amazon’s LOVEFiLM in the UK in 2014.
  • Amazon launched Appstore Developer Select, a program for developers who optimize their apps and games for Amazon’s Appstore and Fire OS. Developers in the Appstore Developer Select program will receive a broad range of marketing and economic benefits that will help improve app discovery and increase sales even further. Appstore Developer Select apps receive premium placement in the Amazon Appstore, 500,000 ad impressions on the Amazon Mobile Ad Network, and automatic inclusion in the Amazon Appstore Coins Reward category. Customers will receive Amazon Coins when they purchase Appstore Developer Select apps, games, and in-app items. Developers in the program also receive credits equaling 25% off their first $2,000 in AWS services annually.
  • Amazon released Login and Pay with Amazon, a new service that streamlines how customers transact with online merchants, allowing participating companies to empower customers to go from browsing to buying in just a few clicks using their Amazon account information.
  • Amazon.com, Inc. announced the launch of Amazon Art, a marketplace that gives customers direct access to more than 40,000 works of fine art from over 150 galleries and dealers. The store is one of the largest online collections of original and limited edition artwork for purchase directly from galleries and dealers. The new store features easy-to-use discovery tools to help open the art world to customers and offers detailed information about the works of art from galleries of all sizes.
  • Amazon is creating more than 70,000 full-time seasonal jobs across its U.S. fulfillment centers this holiday season in order to meet an increase in customer demand. In 2012, Amazon converted thousands of seasonal employees into regular, full-time roles after the holidays, and expects to do the same this year. On average, seasonal employees earn 94 percent of Amazon fulfillment center employee starting wages and are eligible for health care benefits.
  • Amazon.com, Inc. acquired TenMarks, a company that is helping teachers and parents deliver innovative mathematics curriculum to students across the country.
  • Since launching the marketplace website Amazon.in last quarter, Amazon has rapidly added more selection to serve customers in India with 10 new categories launched in less than 120 days—Kindle, Consumer Electronics, Mobile Phones & Accessories, Computers & Accessories, Toys, Baby, Personal and Health Care Appliances, Watches, Fashion Jewelry, and Home and Kitchen. With Amazon.in customers can shop with ease and confidence from over nine million books, over 130,000 products from hundreds of brands, and more than 1.9 million eBooks from a constantly expanding group of retailers.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) introduced more than 15 new features and enhancements to its fully managed relational and NoSQL database services. Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) now supports Oracle Statspack performance diagnostics and has expanded MySQL support, including capabilities for zero downtime data migration. Enhancements to Amazon DynamoDB include new cross-region support, a local test tool, and location-based query capabilities.
  • AWS continued to bolster its management services, making it easier to provision and manage more AWS resources with AWS CloudFormation and AWS OpsWorks, which both added support for Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). AWS also enhanced the AWS Console mobile app and introduced a new Command Line Interface.
  • AWS continued to gain momentum in the public sector and now has more than 2,400 education institutions and 600 government agencies as customers, including recent new projects with customers such as the U.S. Federal Drug Administration.


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