Past Its Prime

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What's going on?

Amazon continues to transform and roll out new strategies, but it reported a third-quarter profit late on Thursday that was worse than investors expected – initially sending its stock down 8% (tweet this).

What does this mean?

Amazon’s total revenue was higher than expected, helped by 24% ecommerce growth in the US and 18% internationally compared to the same time last year. But revenue at the company’s highly profitable cloud computing arm “only” grew 35% – less than predicted, and one of the reasons its profit missed estimates.

Amazon’s forecast for this quarter’s earnings were, as usual, lower than investors had hoped. Most companies tend to under-promise and over-deliver in their updates, and Amazon certainly tried the former on for size – but by underdelivering too, it might now have given investors pause.

Why should I care?

For markets: No more fun and games.

Amazon’s stock might’ve fallen due to its less-than-rosy outlook for the upcoming holiday season, which kicks off with Black Friday in November. In its quarterly earnings update this week, toymaker Hasbro said tariffs between the US and China had led retailers to change or cancel orders, negatively affecting its sales ahead of the year’s major shopping season. Other brands will likely leave retailers short on must-haves too – and shoppers looking for cheap deals and stocking-fillers might find the Everything Store can’t quite live up to its name.

For you personally: How to build a treehouse.

At around $1,700 a share, buying Amazon’s stock is a big commitment – and might turn an otherwise balanced investment portfolio into a risky one. If you do decide to cough up the cash, though, you’ll want to choose the right broker to buy and sell shares. Some are even letting investors buy fractions of shares, allowing you to buy into Amazon and other stocks with a much smaller cash balance than you’d normally need.

Originally posted as part of the Finimize daily email.

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