April 27, 2017 Last Updated 3:33 pm

Amazon stock sharply higher after first quarter earnings report show sales up 23%

Investors are driving the stock up more than 4 percent in after hours trading, and though higher costs did eat into the company’s operating income, net income came in at $724M

The online retailer Amazon today reported first quarter earnings for 2017 that is impressive enough to make investors drive up the company’s stock in after hours trading. Amazon reported sales increased 23 percent to $35.7 billion in the first quarter, compared with $29.1 billion in first quarter 2016. Net income was $724 million, or $1.48 per diluted share, compared with net income of $513 million in the prior year.

The result drove up Amazon stock more than 4 percent.

The results were more of a mixed bag than the stock price might tell, though, as operating income fell versus the year before as Amazon’s cost of sales rose dramatically, as did fulfillment costs and marketing.

Still, the company reported a profit, and it hasn’t always reported that.

Here is Amazon’s rather lengthy earnings statement, which is long on achievements, but light on actual unit sales numbers – par for the course for Amazon.

SEATTLE, Wash. — April 27, 2017 –Amazon.com, Inc.  today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2017.

Operating cash flow increased 53% to $17.6 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $11.6 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2016. Free cash flow increased to $10.2 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $6.7 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2016. Free cash flow less lease principal repayments increased to $6.2 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $3.8 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2016. Free cash flow less finance lease principal repayments and assets acquired under capital leases increased to $3.3 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $1.9 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2016.

Common shares outstanding plus shares underlying stock-based awards totaled 497 million on March 31, 2017, compared with 490 million one year ago.

Net sales increased 23% to $35.7 billion in the first quarter, compared with $29.1 billion in first quarter 2016. Excluding the $492 millionunfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 24% compared with first quarter 2016.

Operating income decreased 6% to $1.0 billion in the first quarter, compared with operating income of $1.1 billion in first quarter 2016.

Net income was $724 million in the first quarter, or $1.48 per diluted share, compared with net income of $513 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, in first quarter 2016.

“Our India team is moving fast and delivering for customers and sellers. The team has increased Prime selection by 75% since launching the program nine months ago, increased fulfillment capacity for sellers by 26% already this year, announced 18 Indian Original TV series, and just last week introduced a Fire TV Stick optimized for Indian customers with integrated voice search in English and Hindi,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “We’re grateful that customers are responding — Amazon.in is the most visited and the fastest growing marketplace in India. It’s still Day 1 for e-commerce in India, and I assure you that we’ll keep investing in

technology and infrastructure while working hard to invent on behalf of our customers and small and medium businesses in India.”

Highlights

  • For the second year in a row, Amazon.com ranked #1 in corporate reputation in the 23,000-person Harris Poll.
  • U.S. consumers ranked Amazon.com #1 in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a 10,000-person poll that measures perceptions of quality and value across retailers nationwide.
  • U.K. consumers ranked Amazon.co.uk #1 in customer satisfaction for the second consecutive year based on a 10,000-person poll by the Institute of Customer Service.
  • Amazon Studios’ Original Movies won three Academy Awards including Best Actor (Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea), Best Original Screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea), and Best Foreign Language Film (The Salesman). These titles along with the Oscar-winning film Moonlight will be available for Prime members to stream at no additional cost on Prime Video in 2017.
  • The National Football League (NFL) selected Prime Video as its exclusive partner to deliver a live over-the-top digital stream of Thursday Night Football to tens of millions of Prime members worldwide across devices during the 2017 NFL Season. The Thursday Night Football games will also be available to Prime Video members internationally in over 200 countries and territories.
  • Amazon Video Direct, Amazon’s digital self-publishing service, launched the Film Festival Stars program, designed to establish a distribution model for films screened at major film festivals and provide rights holders with flexibility and control in monetizing their films. Since launch, 15 films have opted-in to the program, including Manifesto starring Cate Blanchett.
  • Amazon introduced Echo Look, an entirely new category of device that combines everything you love about Alexa with a hands-free camera and built-in style assistant. Simply ask Echo Look to take a photo or short video so you can see your outfit from any angle, share your look with friends, or get a second opinion on what to wear using Style Check, which combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists.
  • Amazon introduced the all-new Fire TV Stick in India with new features optimized for Indian customers: voice search in Hindi, free data for three months, data monitoring to help customers manage their data usage, and a vast selection of local and global movies and TV shows. The all-new Fire TV Stick also launched in the U.K., Germany, and Japan, offering customers a powerful quad-core processor, voice remote, and the fastest Wi-Fi of any streaming media stick.
  • Amazon introduced a new program that makes it free for Alexa developers to build and host most Alexa skills using Amazon Web Services (AWS) by providing qualified developers with AWS promotional credits.
  • Amazon announced that Alexa voice shopping now includes Prime Now, offering the fastest and easiest way to shop hands-free from Alexa-enabled devices. Customers can use their voice to shop for tens of thousands of items through Prime Now with free two-hour delivery.
  • The Alexa Skills store now offers customers more than 12,000 skills. Customers can order meals from GrubHub, listen to content from NPR One, ask WebMD health-related questions, and access more than 300 smart home skills to turn lights on or off, change light color, or even lock a door.
  • Amazon released a free, over-the-air software update for Amazon Tap, the portable Alexa-enabled Bluetooth speaker, that delivers hands-free control so customers can voice-control their Amazon Tap rather than pushing the microphone button.
  • AmazonFresh is now available in Tokyo, joining London as well as 21 metro areas in the U.S.
  • Amazon Fashion introduced seven private apparel brands to Prime members, including Goodthreads, Amazon Essentials, Paris Sunday, Mae, Ella Moon, Buttoned Down, and Lark & Ro.
  • Amazon Business expanded to the U.K., providing business customers with new features such as purchase approvals, VAT-exclusive pricing, expanded VAT invoicing, and quantity discounts. And since launching in Germany last December, Amazon Business has enrolled more than 50,000 business customers and more than 10,000 sellers, and added a new VAT calculation service that makes it simpler for sellers to provide VAT invoicing to business customers.
  • Amazon.in is the fastest growing marketplace in India, and the most visited site on both desktop and mobile, according to analytics firms comScore and SimilarWeb. Additionally, the Amazon.in mobile shopping app is the most downloaded shopping app in India, according to app analytics firm App Annie.
  • The Amazon Global Store now offers Amazon.cn customers more than 850,000 authentic products from the Japanese website, in addition to the millions of authentic, international products from the U.S. and U.K. websites.
  • The Amazon Original Series Hitoshi Matsumoto Presents Documental broke viewing records to become the most watched Amazon Original on Prime Video in Japan, and Amazon’s first German original series, You Are Wanted, set a record for the largest streaming audience on Prime Video in Germany on the opening weekend.
  • Amazon launched Prime in Mexico with over 20 million eligible products. Prime members receive free one-day shipping in several of Mexico’s largest cities, free two-day shipping in the rest of the country, as well as access to Prime Video with popular and award-winning Amazon Original Series.
  • Amazon.com introduced Amazon Cash, a new service that lets customers add cash to their Amazon Balance at thousands of locations around the country.
  • Amazon announced a new clean energy initiative to install large-scale solar systems on fulfillment center rooftops around the world. The company plans to complete installations on 15 facilities in the U.S. by the end of 2017, and complete the deployment of solar systems on 50 global fulfillment and sortation centers by 2020.
  • AWS announced Amazon Chime, a unified communications service that makes meetings easier and more efficient than ever before. Customers can start or join a meeting with a single click, and Amazon Chime delivers a frustration-free meeting experience with exceptional video and audio quality, chat, and screen sharing capabilities — all seamlessly synchronized across desktops, iOS, and Android devices.
  • AWS announced Amazon Connect, a cloud-based contact center service that is based on the same contact center technology used by Amazon customer service associates around the world to power millions of customer conversations.
  • AWS announced it will open an infrastructure region with three Availability Zones in Sweden in 2018. AWS currently operates 42 Availability Zones across 16 infrastructure regions worldwide, with another five Availability Zones across two AWS Regions in France andChina expected to come online this year.
  • Recent AWS enterprise customer highlights include: Live Nation, the world’s leading live entertainment and ticketing company, announced it is going “all-in” on AWS; Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc., the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, migrated their business-critical mobile applications, e-commerce websites, and key corporate IT infrastructure applications to AWS; HERE Technologies, a leading global provider of maps and location services, disclosed that AWS is its preferred cloud infrastructure provider and continues to expand its use of AWS to power its new Open Location Platform services; Liberty Mutual announced it is using AWS to speed implementation of a new state-of-the-art business platform to quickly bring new products and capabilities to their customers and operations; and Snap, Inc. expanded their use of AWS and announced a new, enterprise agreement to use $1 billion of AWS services over the next five years.
  • AWS launched Redshift Spectrum, a new feature of Amazon Redshift that allows customers to run queries on exabytes (1 exabyte = 1,000 petabytes) of data in Amazon S3 just as easily as they run queries against petabytes of data stored in their Amazon Redshift data warehouse. Redshift Spectrum uses the same SQL as Amazon Redshift and scales query processing across thousands of nodes to deliver fast results — even with large data sets and complex queries. For example, a complex query on an exabyte of data using 1,000 notes and the Hive Query Language would take five years. With Amazon Redshift Spectrum, the same query takes just 155 seconds.
  • AWS announced Amazon DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX), a fully-managed, highly available, in-memory cache that can reduce Amazon DynamoDB response times from milliseconds to microseconds, even at millions of requests per second. With DAX, customers using DynamoDB for mobile, web, gaming, ad tech, IoT, and many other types of applications can achieve 10x faster query performance.
  • AWS announced that customers have migrated more than 23,000 databases using the AWS Database Migration Service since it became generally available in 2016.
  • AWS announced the general availability of Amazon Lex, making the proven, highly scalable artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that power Amazon Alexa available to all developers. American Heart Association, Capital One, Freshdesk, Hubspot, Liberty Mutual, NASA, Ohio Health, and Vonage are among the customers using Amazon Lex to build rich, conversational user experiences for web, mobile, and connected device applications.
  • AWS continued to expand the breadth and depth of its Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) offerings with the general availability of the next generation of its High I/O (I3) instances, and field programmable gate array (FPGA) accelerated (F1) instances.
  • AWS announced AWS CodeStar, a new tool that enables developers to quickly develop and run applications on AWS. CodeStar provides a single graphical interface where development teams can manage their software development activities from one place. With CodeStar, teams can easily start with one-click project templates, perform continuous delivery, manage read and write permissions of the team, and monitor application activity.
  • AWS collaborated with NASA to deliver the highest resolution video ever broadcast live from space (ultra-high-definition broadcast transmitted in 4K) during a keynote presentation at the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas. The session featured NASA astronaut and Expedition 51 commander, Peggy Whitson, speaking live from the International Space Station 250 miles above the Earth, which travels at 17,500 miles per hour and orbits the planet 16 times per day. The session explored how advanced imaging and cloud technologies are taking scientific research and filmmaking to the next level.

Financial Guidance

The following forward-looking statements reflect Amazon.com’s expectations as of April 27, 2017, and are subject to substantial uncertainty. Our results are inherently unpredictable and may be materially affected by many factors, such as fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, changes in global economic conditions and customer spending, world events, the rate of growth of the Internet, online commerce, and cloud services, and the various factors detailed below.

Second Quarter 2017 Guidance

  • Net sales are expected to be between $35.25 billion and $37.75 billion, or to grow between 16% and 24% compared with second quarter 2016. This guidance anticipates an unfavorable impact of approximately $720 million or 240 basis points from foreign exchange rates.
  • Operating income is expected to be between $425 million and $1.075 billion, compared with $1.3 billion in second quarter 2016.
  • This guidance assumes, among other things, that no additional business acquisitions, investments, restructurings, or legal settlements are concluded.

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