Amazon blew past Wall Street estimates in its first quarter, showing a strong surge in sales and earnings.
For the first quarter ended March 31, Amazon.com posted net income of $1.63 billion, or $3.27 per diluted share, versus $724 million, or $1.48 per diluted share, in the year-prior period. Diluted earnings per share topped a MarketBeat-published analyst average estimate of $1.80.
Net sales were $51.04 billion versus $35.71 billion in the year-previous period. Operating income was $1.93 billion compared with $1.01 billion in the previous first quarter.
Net product sales were $31.61 billion versus $23.73 billion in the year-before quarter. Amazon North American sales increased to $30.73 billion with operating income for the region reaching $1.15 billion versus $21 billion and $596 million, respectively, in the period a year prior.
Among the highlights of the quarter:
- Amazon acquired Ring, a home security product and service company.
- Amazon introduced grocery delivery from Whole Foods Market in 10 cities across the U.S.
- Amazon, Chase and Whole Foods Market announced that eligible Prime members can earn 5% back on Whole Foods Market purchases when using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card.
- Amazon launched the Sustainability Question Bank to help customers quickly find information on sustainability programs that are important to them.
- Amazon released new features for Alexa, including Follow-Up mode, which makes the voice operating system more conversational by allowing for follow-up requests without having to repeat the wake word.
- Amazon introduced more ways for Alexa developers to build engaging skills, including the new Alexa Skills Kit developer console.
- Amazon now has 15 fulfillment centers in the U.S. with solar panels producing power, as part of its commitment to host solar energy systems at 50 fulfillment centers by 2020, and the goal to power all of its global infrastructure using renewable energy.
- Amazon Web Services announced that it had signed on several enterprise customers during the quarter including GoDaddy, Cox Automotive, Shutterfly and NextGen Healthcare.
- Amazon Web Services continued expanding its infrastructure, launching two availability zones and one local region in Osaka, Japan during the first quarter of 2018.
“Amazon Web Services had the unusual advantage of a seven-year head start before facing like-minded competition, and the team has never slowed down,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “As a result, the AWS services are by far the most evolved and most functionality-rich. AWS lets developers do more and be nimbler, and it continues to get even better every day. That’s why you’re seeing this remarkable acceleration in AWS growth, now for two quarters in a row.”
AWS sales advanced to $5.44 billion from $3.66 billion in the year-before quarter while operating income from the division increased to $1.4 billion from $890 million in the period in the year before.