Amazon managed to beat expectations in its third quarter, with net sales of $17.09 billion, and a per-share loss of $0.09, or $41 million. The street had expected Amazon to lose $0.10 per share on sales of $16.8 billion.
In after-hours trading, Amazon is up a strong 7 percent. Investors are clearly heartened by what they see. As Blair Frank of GeekWire points out, however, this is Amazon’s second straight quarterly loss, and the company expects to lose a stunning $500 million in its fourth quarter.
Component to that loss, however, is $350 million for stock-based compensation, and amortization of intangibles. So, the cash loss should be somewhat blunted.
The company is growing like a weed, but not a very profitable weed. Amazon expects its net sales for the coming fourth quarter to land between $23.5 billion and $26.5 billion. Those figures represent a 10 percent to 25 percent year over year gain for the company.
Amazon has around $7.7 billion in cash and equivalents, so it is hardly running low on funds. In its year-ago quarter, on $13.81 billion in net sales, Amazon lost $274 million. So, the quarter is progress of a sort.
The company is infamous for its lackadaisical view towards profits, instead pouring money into growing its various business units. Amazon sells tablets, streams video, delivers all sort of goods — even groceries — while also providing enterprise-grade cloud computing solutions. It’s a diverse firm.
Amazon could slow investment, and reach higher levels of profitability. But not soon, it seems. On the good ship Bezos steams.
Top Image Credit: Carl Malamud