Investing.com – Amazon (NASDAQ:) handily beat earnings in the fourth quarter, led by strong performance in its core online retail business as the roll-out of its expedited shipping program bolstered growth in North America.
Amazon.com (NASDAQ:) announced earnings per share of $6.47 on revenue of $87.44B. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of $4.05 on revenue of $85.97B. That with comparison to EPS of $6.04 on revenue of $72.38B in the same period a year before. Amazon.com had reported EPS of $4.23 on revenue of $69.98B in the previous quarter.
Growth was led by strong performance in its North American retail business as the rollout of its one-day shipping program boosted sales.
“If Amazon is succeeding in expanding its sales, investors shouldn’t worry about costs and a light hit on margins, in our opinion. Amazon’s e-commerce business continues to show a blistering growth trajectory and its earnings momentum from AWS and digital advertising remains robust. These strengths make the stock attractive even at a time when cost escalation is temporarily hurting margins,” said Investing.com analyst Haris Anwar.
Retail sales in North America rose 21% to $53.7 billion.
“Prime membership continues to get better for customers year after year. And customers are responding — more people joined Prime this quarter than ever before, and we now have over 150 million paid Prime members around the world,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “We’ve made Prime delivery faster — the number of items delivered to U.S. customers with Prime’s free one-day and same-day delivery more than quadrupled this quarter compared to last year.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), its cloud business, generated revenue of $9.95 billion, above estimates of $9.84 billion. The beat in cloud services comes despite concerns that competition from cloud rivals like Microsoft’s Azure would dent AWS growth.
The company guided first0-quarter earnings in a range of $69-to-$73 billion, matching analysts’ estimates of $71.59.
Amazon.com shares are up 1% from the beginning of the year and are trading at $2,040.73 , still down 8.12% from its 52 week high of $2,035.80 set on July 11, 2019. They are under-performing the Nasdaq which is up 2.87% year to date.
Amazon.com shares gained 9.10% in after-hours trade after the report.
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