What's going on?
Amazon over-delivered on its second-quarter results on Thursday – profits were more than double what investors had predicted, sending the shares up by 3%.
What does this mean?
The sky’s no longer the limit for Amazon – the clouds are: sales from its cloud computing business were 49% higher than the same time last year. Although, by comparison, Microsoft grew its own cloud services sales by even more in the last three months.
Overall, revenues grew by 39% – slightly below expectations, but the amount of profit per each one of Amazon’s shares (there are 500 million of them!) jumped from just 40 cents this time last year, to over five dollars (tweet this); that’s some expedited, prime profit. And “The Everything Store” plans to pull the same stunt in its next quarter – while its expectations for sales are below what investors are expecting, it’s planning to generate profits way beyond forecasts.
Why should I care?
For markets: Record highs on Amazon’s horizon.
Amazon’s stock price was flirting with record highs in the run up to Thursday’s news – but so was Facebook’s before it un-friended $130 billion of its value following disappointing results on Wednesday. The good news for Amazon’s investors is that its share price rise sets it well on the way to a new record high, and to winning the race (versus Google-parent Alphabet, and Apple) to be the first company valued at a trillion dollars.
The bigger picture: Watch this space because Amazon will probably fill it.
Healthcare’s next on Amazon’s docket: in January, it launched a new healthcare company in partnership with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, and in June it bought online pharmacy PillPack for $1 billion, sending investors in store-based competitors scurrying for an antidote to their falling stock prices. But the doctor may have ordered some obstacles along the way, including having to raise prices in some states in order to collect sales taxes, thanks to a recent US Supreme Court ruling.