October 23, 2014 Last Updated 3:35 pm

Amazon sales grow 20%, but the company recorded an operating loss of $544 million in Q3

The online retailer Amazon.com had warned investors to expect losses in its Q3 2014 earnings report – it did not disappoint. The company reported that sales grew 20 percent to $20.58 billion in the third quarter, but losses continued to grow.

Amazon’s operating loss was $544 million in Q3, compared with an operating loss of $25 million in the same quarter of 2013.

Amazon CEO simply ignored the losses in the company’s earnings statement.

“As we get ready for this upcoming holiday season, we are focused on making the customer experience easier and more stress-free than ever,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “In addition to our already low prices, we will offer more than 15,000 Lightning Deals with early access to select deals for Prime members, hundreds of millions of products across dozens of categories, curated gift lists like Holiday Toy List and Electronics Holiday Gift Guide, new features like #AmazonWishList, and a great new lineup of products like Kindle Voyage and Fire HD Kids Edition. And if you order your gifts on AmazonSmile, we’ll donate a percentage of your purchase price to your favorite charity.”

Despite the fact that earnings came in the range the company had forecast, investors drove down the stock in after the bell trading today. It did not help that the company warned that while they expected sales growth in Q4, which includes the holiday shopping season, losses might continue – then again, maybe not. The company forecast that Q4 would see a net loss of $570 million to a net gain of $430 million – that’s quite a wide range.

Meanwhile, the battle between Amazon and Hachette continues, with many in the tech community supporting the online retailer, while those in traditional media defending Hachette (that is a wild generalization, I know). But if the future of the book business is more likely to be Amazon than the current batch of big publishers, it would be comforting to know that the future of the business includes making a profit.


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