Amazon reported quarterly financials after the bell Thursday for its fourth quarter, the all-important holiday season for the e-commerce giant. And its numbers had some people doing a double take, after earnings per share came in at $3.75, more than double the $1.85 that analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance were estimating.
Net income was $1.9 billion for the quarter. For the full 2017 year, it was $3 billion. This was partly due to a tax cut that benefited Amazon to the tune of $789 million.
It’s a far cry from the days when Amazon was unprofitable. For years, Amazon was able to get away with convincing investors that they should bet on its future growth.
Net sales grew to a massive $60.5 billion, up 38% from the prior year. Analysts had been expecting $59.83 billion.
Amazon Web Services, the cloud services business, accounted for $5.1 billion in revenue for the quarter. This is up from $3.5 billion in same timeframe the previous year.
The stock ticked up 3% in initial after-hours trading.
“Our 2017 projections for Alexa were very optimistic, and we far exceeded them. We don’t see positive surprises of this magnitude very often — expect us to double down,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, in a statement.
The company also touted the success of its Prime membership, saying that the service accounted for 5 billion items shipped last year.
Amazon has a market cap of $677 billion and recently reached record highs.