Amazon.com (AMZN.O.) said on Thursday that it has inked new partnerships and that growth in its cloud business is stabilizing. However, it cautioned that customers are still cautious about spending as we approach the Christmas quarter.
The business, which just released impressive third-quarter earnings supported by a recent marketing campaign and speedier delivery, anticipated a gain in revenue over the crucial holiday season but could fall short of Wall Street estimates.
After hours, the company’s shares fluctuated, increasing, dipping, and climbing 5%. Despite several operational obstacles, Amazon is attempting to maintain its position as the world’s largest online retailer and cloud provider.
To strengthen its cloud offering, the business has responded to competitors Google (GOOGL.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) by announcing plans to spend up to $4 billion on chatbot maker Anthropic and promoting an AI service that attracts thousands of customers.
Amazon has also rearranged its delivery network to place products nearer to customers, enabling it to complete purchases more quickly and affordably than in the past. Amazon has encountered several difficulties concurrently, including limited family budgets, companies closely examining their cloud expenditures, and a lawsuit filed in September by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission alleging pricing manipulation and monopolistic practices. The corporation is contesting the accusations.
In light of this, the business projected sales for the crucial holiday quarter ending on December 31 to be between $160 billion and $167 billion. LSEG polled analysts, who predicted revenues at the top end of Amazon’s projection at $166.62 billion.
To a certain extent, Hargreaves Lansdown stock analyst Sophie Lund-Yates expressed optimism about consumer discretionary spending due to Amazon’s increase in seasonal hiring.
“It’s possible that there may be one more push in spending before a significant reduction in the coming year. Thus, there is a risk here that has to be properly watched,” she stated.
The success of Amazon’s cloud computing branch is frequently correlated with its own. Amazon Web Services (AWS), a longtime profitable source, suffered a slowdown in growth in previous quarters. As its clients prepared for AI updates, rival Microsoft, the second-largest cloud provider by sales behind Amazon, exceeded Wall Street projections this week.
Brian Olsavsky, the Chief Financial Officer of Amazon, stated on a conference call with reporters that attempts to assist clients in adjusting the amount of money they were spending in the cloud were “starting to slow down.”
In a conference call with investors, CEO Andy Jassy mentioned that AWS was negotiating and closing deals faster, including significant expansions with new and current clients. Through AI, it also piqued the attention of businesses. In an announcement, he noted, “Our AWS growth continued to stabilize.” Against analysts’ projected sales of $23.09 billion, AWS’s third-quarter revenue of $23.1 billion was realized.
LSEG data shows that Amazon’s entire sales for the third quarter increased by 13% to $143.1 billion, above Wall Street projections of $141.41 billion. Net income increased from $2.87 billion a year earlier to $9.9 billion in the third quarter.
CFO Olsavsky stated that the business generally observed robust demand in sales categories, including beauty and wellness, despite decreasing discretionary spending. “We still see customers remaining cautious about price, trading down where they can, and seeking out deals,” he stated.
Reduced inflation contributed to a portion of Amazon’s transportation expenditures. However, fuel expenses still had an impact, he added. Several programs assisted Amazon in navigating the environment. According to the corporation, its largest-ever sales day occurred during the third-quarter shopping frenzy known as Prime Day, and its biggest-ever October holiday start occurred during a subsequent promotion period.
Because it encourages customers to place larger, more frequent purchases, Amazon’s same-day delivery services have also increased its profit margins. The store has significantly invested in expanding its service availability in recent years.
In the third quarter, Amazon’s North American sector saw 11% growth in sales to around $88 billion. The firm also recorded an operating profit of $4.3 billion in that area, up from an operating loss the previous year.
After that defeat, Amazon has made dramatic cost reductions. Following the announcement of 27,000 layoffs, or 9% of its approximately 300,000 employees, at the beginning of the previous year, the company has disclosed more job reductions, including at Amazon Fresh outlets.