The market was expecting big things from Amazon, and the company has delivered. Revenues in Q3 surged 41 percent to $3.26 billion from $2.31 billion last year. Net income quadrupled to $80 million ($.19 per share) from $19 million ($.05 per share) last year. The company cited its low prices and its Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Prime offering for its growth. Numbers were bolstered somewhat by a $75 million revenue boost associated with exchange rates and a lower tax rate during the period. During the day, the company’s stock closed just ahead of $100, as it’s touching highs not seen since the very top of the bubble.
–290,000 developers have registered for the company’s much-vaunted Amazon Web Services platform, up 25,000 from the prior quarter.
–45 percent of sales were international
–Worldwide Media sales grew 36 percent, hitting $2.09 billion
–Release notes the launch of Amazon MP3, though no figures are given.
Conference Call: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was asked on the company’s conference call if he could quantify at all the company’s digital media initiatives, including Unbox and Amazon MP3. Not surprisingly, he declined to give out any actual numbers, though he did say the company is “very happy with the early results that we’re seeing,” and that “the onus is on us to convince music labels that this (DRM-free) is a good way to sell music.” He had no comment on Unbox. Much of the call was a discussion of margins, future investments and the effects of Amazon prime. There was some concern about a slight decline in gross margins during the quarter, which the company partly attributed to the minimal mark up on Harry Potter books (though that doesn’t account for all of it). As for broader economic concerns, CFO Tom Szkutak argued that Amazon’s value proposition helped position the company well for any consumer weakness.
–Web Services: At the end of the call, Bezos gave a little Amazon Web Services 101 talk, explaining how the company is turning its infrastructure outward towards developers. Again, not much in the way of numbers, though it’s said to be growing “very, very rapidly.”