Last Thursday Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced its quarterly financials for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017, and it wasn’t pretty. While much of the news was positive, including a 25 percent increase in net sales to $38.0 billion, the company’s net income decreased dramatically, coming in at $197 million, 77 percent less than net income of $857 million for Q2 2016.
According to The Motley Fool, Wall Street analysts had expected sales of $37.2 billion and $1.41 earnings per share. Amazon hit the sales target, but missed the earnings per share target by $1.01 per share, causing a $25.96 per share drop in Amazon stock. Note: Amazon’s second quarter guidance estimated net sales between $35.25 billion and $37.75 billion, and operating income between $425 million and $1.075 billion. It did not provide an estimate for net income.
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On Wed., July 26, Amazon was $1,052.80 per share. On Thurs., July 27, stock stood at $1,046.00 per share, but earnings were reported at 2:30 PM Pacific Time, after trading had closed for the day. On Fri., July 28, its stock price had dropped to $1,020.04 in after-hours trading. This time last year – August 1, 2016 – Amazon stock was $754.64 per share.
To add another comparison, following Amazon’s most successful Prime Day (July 11) ever and its biggest shopping day in Amazon history, on July 18, Amazon stock was valued at $1,024.45 per share. It spiked to $1,046.00 after that, but Friday’s price drop did not have the dramatic effect other media outlets are reporting.
Other financial highlights include:
- Operating cash flow increased 37 percent to $17.9 billion for the trailing 12 months.
- Free cash flow increased to $9.7 billion for the trailing 12 months.
- Operating income was $628 million, a 51 percent decreased from $1.3 billion year-over-year.
- Investments of $5.1 million, compared to $2.4 million for the same period last year.
- Total operating expenses of $37.3 million, compared to $29.1 million year-over-year.
- AWS operating income of $916 million, compared to $718 million year-over-year.
“Our teams remain heads-down and focused on customers,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. “In the last few months, we launched Echo Show (our newest Echo device with a video screen), introduced calling and messaging via Alexa on all Echo devices, debuted Inside Edge on Prime Video (the first of 18 Indian Original Series), introduced Amazon Channels in both the U.K. and Germany, launched four new Fire tablets, expanded Amazon Fresh to Germany, launched Prime Now in Singapore, launched our 25th airplane with Prime Air, hired more than 30,000 new employees, opened three new Amazon Books stores, launched more than 400 significant AWS features and services, migrated more than 7,000 databases using AWS Database Migration Service, and held our third annual Prime Day – signing up more Prime members than ever before. It’s energizing to invent on behalf of customers, and we continue to see many high-quality opportunities to invest.”
Other operational highlights include:
- Amazon announced its intention to purchase Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion in cash.
- Amazon held its most successful Prime Day ever and the biggest shopping day in company history.
- Amazon began offering discounts to customers on government assistance.
- Amazon discontinued unlimited cloud storage.
- Amazon ranked #2 on LinkedIn’s Top U.S. Companies list.
- 16 Emmy nominations for original series Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle and Catastrophe
- Amazon Business has surpassed the 1-million mark, serving more than 1 million business customers in the U.S.
- Amazon donated more than 47,000 square feet of space in its newest headquarters building to Mary’s Place Family Shelter in Seattle, with 65 rooms to shelter more than 200 homeless women, children and families.
Guidance for the third quarter includes net sales between $39.25 billion and $41.75 billion, anticipating an unfavorable impact of $125 million from foreign exchange rates, and operating income/loss between $(400) million and $300 million.
The day prior to the financial results, Amazon announced that it would hire more than 50,000 employees at its U.S. fulfillment centers at what Amazon is calling the “nation’s largest job fair.” On Wed., Aug. 2, 8 AM to noon, Amazon is hosting Jobs Day at 10 fulfillment centers (Baltimore, Maryland; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Etna, Ohio; Fall River, Massachusetts; Hebron, Kentucky; Kenosha, Wisconsin; Kent, Washington; Robbinsville, New Jersey; Romeoville, Illinois; and Whitestown, Indiana).
During Jobs Day, applicants can tour the fulfillment centers, learn more about working at Amazon and the technology it uses to fill millions of orders. Amazon will interview applicants and plans to make on-the-spot job offers for part-time, full-time and seasonal positions. In addition, some locations will host application periods during other days and times. At least 10,000 of the jobs available are part-time at the company’s sortation centers. Employees hired for these jobs will sort and consolidated customer packages for faster shipping and Sunday delivery.
As we noted above, yes, Amazon stock dropped after its second quarter earnings report was released, but Amazon is still up after a successful Prime Day. Its net income was, indeed, a miss, but the company is reinvesting in itself, focusing on product development, AWS enhancements, acquisitions, and original content, among other projects.
Bezos isn’t squandering money. He is reinvesting to continue Amazon’s dominance in e-commerce and AWS. He’s spending money now to make more money later. Investors may have felt skittish, but Amazon’s stock price didn’t suffer significantly, nor did Bill Gates’ ego after ceding the title of world’s richest man to Jeff Bezos for a day or two.
From a membership perspective, Amazon is still providing Prime members with excellent value and, though the company doesn’t release membership or retention numbers, we’d guess that retention is high. Amazon continues to offer incremental value to members, always adding new perks and benefits without increasing the price and trying to reach new members through programs like Prime Day and membership discounts for people on government assistance. Investors may be temporarily dissatisfied, but it is hard to fault Amazon for reinvestment.