E-commerce giant Amazon has today reported its fourth quarterly earnings and there’s an intense focus on growth here. The company has posted a mixed bag of figures, failing to meet Wall Street expectations on multiple fronts. But, expectations were surely high and Amazon is now planning to clamp down on its bottom line.
In the said quarter, the e-commerce giant posted revenues of $43.7 billion as compared to $35.7 billion in the same quarter previous year. It is a massive 22 percent increase in year-on-year net sales. This was coupled with 55 percent uptick in net profit, amounting to $749 million and an earning of $1.54 per share. It is considerably higher than the net profit of $482 million and earnings of $1.00 per share in Q4 last year.
Though Amazon managed to project growth on a yearly basis but it has posted lower than expected revenue and earnings. The analysts from Wall Street estimated the company to deliver $44.68 billion revenue, coupled with earnings of $1.35 per share. The company attributes the same to an unfavorable impact from foreign exchange rates, else revenues would’ve jumped 24 percent. Operating income for the quarter ended December’16 increased 13% to $1.3 billion.
Talking about these figures, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky on a conference call said,
There’s always a number of things that can impact customer spending, both positively and negatively during any quarter. What we do, is continue to focus on the things we can directly control: for us that’s price, selection, customer experience. And on those dimensions we felt we made great progress.
Once the said number hit everyone’s screen, the stock price of Amazon tanked 4 percent in after-hour trading. In anticipation of the results, the shares had been operating 8.7 percent above the previous closing price. The current stock price in after-hour trading is $805.
As for the complete fiscal year 2016, Amazon’s operating cash flow increased 38 percent to $16.4 billion as compared to $11.9 billion in the previous year. This means the company shelled out more bucks in promotional discounts during sales but it wasn’t a contributing factor for these lower than expectation numbers. The free cash flow for this fiscal year amounted to $9.7 billion, compared to $7.3 billion for the past twelve months in 2015.
Further, the revenue for the complete year amounted to $136.0 billion, which is a 27 percent increase compared to $107 billion in 2015. The company also posted an operating income of $4.2 billion, double of what it gained in the previous year. The profit for this fiscal year jumped to $2.4 billion coupled with earnings of $4.90 per share. This depicts growth in Amazon’s performance when compared to $596 million in profit and earnings of $1.25 per share.
As for individual services, Amazon Web Services, the cloud platform of the company, still continues to witness growth. It saw an increase of 47 percent in revenues, amounting to $3.53 billion. This acceleration can be attributed to a lean operation, coupled with opening of several new availability zones across five geographic regions — U.S., Korea, India, Canada, and U.K. Also, customers migrated more than 18,000 databases using the AWS Database Migration Service in 2016.
The company also showed growth in one of the newest segments, that’s accelerating at a phenomenal pace — smart home speakers. Amazon was the first technology giant to debut a speaker with an AI-based voice assistant baked into it. Users could use talk to the assistant for daily updates, with an increasing number of third-party skills for Alexa. The Echo family sales increased 9 times with nearly 4,000 skills under its belt. Amazon is now looking to brand Alexa as a platform and bake conversational capabilities into the product.