Amazon blows past earnings expectations

Amazon reported first-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday. The company shattered earnings expectations, reporting $1.48 per share, when Wall Street was expecting $1.12. Net income stood at $724 million.

Revenue came in at $35.71 billion, above the $35.30 billion that analysts were forecasting and up 23 percent from last year. Shares quickly soared 5 percent in initial after-hours trading.

However, operating income declined 6 percent to $1 billion for the quarter. Investors had been hoping to see operating margin expansion in North America.

In a statement, CEO Jeff Bezos spoke about their optimism in India, a large market opportunity for growth. “Our India team is moving fast and delivering for customers and sellers. The team has increased Prime selection by 75% since launching the program nine months ago, increased fulfillment capacity for sellers by 26% already this year, announced 18 Indian Original TV series, and just last week introduced a Fire TV Stick optimized for Indian customers with integrated voice search in English and Hindi,” he said.

EBay, Tencent and Microsoft recently made a big bet on Amazon’s India competitor, Flipkart.

AWS, the cloud service platform, saw substantial growth, accounting for $3.7 billion for the quarter. This compares to $2.6 billion in the same period last year, or up 43 percent. Growth is slowing, however. The same category saw 64 percent growth the year before.

Amazon shares are up 51 percent in the past year. The company’s market cap is $439 billion.