Amazon sales jump 38 percent, profit hits record

Amazon sales jump 38 percent, profit hits record

Amazon, which shipped over 5 billion items worldwide through its subscription-based Prime service in 2017, said its net sales rose to $60.45 billion in the reported quarter from $43.74 billion a year earlier.

Inc. reported on Thursday a profit of nearly $2 billion, its largest in history, as the e-commerce giant attracted millions of new Prime customers during the holiday season and as changes in the tax law across the USA added to the bottom line.

Even though Amazon stocks rallied past its record fourth quarter results with $1 billion of profits, the ecommerce giant ended 2017 with an global loss of $3 billion - largely attributed to its India spends.

The company's fast delivery, like its two-hour Prime Now service, helped win over shoppers eager to avoid the crowds of big-box retailers.

That figure is expected to rise this quarter in part because the company recently raised the fee for month-to-month Prime plans, affecting some 30% of subscribers, according to analysts at Cowen & Co.

The company spent $13.7 billion past year on the 460-store Whole Foods grocery chain to become a more serious player in the $800 billion grocery market and enter a brick-and-mortar retail business dominated by Walmart. The number of products eligible for Prime service in India increased to more than 25 million items a year ago.

Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing division of Amazon, saw major gains in fourth quarter 2017 earnings Thursday as the tech giant titans its lead in the cloud wars. It equips warehouses with robots, builds new data centers, invents new products and updates devices like its voice-activated Echo digital speaker, which Amazon sees as key to getting a foothold in customers' homes and vehicles.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has committed investments to the tune of Dollars 5 billion for the Indian market.

Amazon said it expects operating profit in the current quarter of between $300 million and $1 billion.

The company has become notorious for running on a low-profit-margin. Amazon's global headcount is up 66% from a year ago at 566,000 full-time and part-time employees, thanks to a hiring spree and an influx of workers from Whole Foods Market.



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