- Amazon reported first-quarter profits on Thursday that handily beat Wall Street’s expectations.
- But it warned that its second-quarter bottom line would most likely come in far below analysts’ estimates.
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Wall Street had heady expectations for Amazon’s first-quarter profits. Amazon topped them.
But the company warned that it wouldn’t have such happy news next quarter.
The retail and cloud-computing giant on Thursday reported earnings per share of $7.09. That’s about 50% higher than what analysts were expecting.
But it warned that its revenue and earnings for the second quarter could fall shy of analysts’ estimates. In the case of its bottom line, the shortfall could be dramatic. The midpoint of the range the company provided for its second-quarter operating profit was $1.2 billion below what analysts had previously expected.
For investors, that disappointing forecast seemed to more or less temper their excitement over Amazon’s outstanding first-quarter earnings results. In recent after-hours trading, the company’s stock was up a modest $28.01, or about 1%, to $1,930.26 a share.
Here’s what the company reported and how it compared with Wall Street’s expectations and Amazon’s prior-year results:
- Q1 revenue: $59.7 billion. Analysts had forecast $59.68 billion. In the same period a year ago, Amazon recorded $51.04 billion in sales.
- Q1 EPS (GAAP): $7.09. Wall Street had predicted earnings per share of $4.67. The company posted a profit of $3.27 a share in the first quarter last year.
- Q2 revenue (company guidance): $59.5 billion to $63.5 billion. Analysts had previously forecast sales of $62.37 billion for the period. In the second quarter last year, Amazon brought in $52.9 billion in sales.
- Q2 EPS (guidance): The company didn’t offer earnings guidance but said it expected to post an operating profit of $2.6 billion to $3.6 billion. Before the report, analysts were predicting it would post an operating profit of $4.2 billion and earnings per share of $6.34. The e-commerce giant posted operating income of $3 billion and per share earnings of $5.07 in the same period of 2018.
Amazon’s stock closed regular trading up $0.50, or less than 1%, to $1,902.25.
AWS’s revenue growth topped 40% yet again
The company’s results were boosted again by its Amazon Web Services cloud-computing business, which has been helping drive Amazon’s growth over the past several years. Accounting for foreign-exchange fluctuations, AWS’ sales jumped 42% in the period from the first quarter last year to $7.7 billion. AWS has grown at an annual clip of between 40 and 50% since the first quarter of 2017.
The cloud-computing unit posted an operating profit of $2.2 billion in the period, up 59% from the year-ago quarter. AWS accounted for about half of Amazon’s total operating income for the first quarter.
The company’s North American business also posted a solid quarter. The unit posted sales of $35.8 billion, up a relatively modest 17% from the same period last year. But its operating income nearly doubled over the same time frame to $2.3 billion.
Amazon’s big earnings outperformance, though, largely came from holding the line on its biggest expenses. While the company’s overall revenue grew 17% from the first quarter last year, its…