Amazon beats on earnings and revenue, but gives light guidance — stock seesaws after hours

Amazon[1]‘s fourth-quarter report was a beat across the board, but first-quarter revenue guidance came in below estimates.

Meanwhile, the company continued to set record profits for the third consecutive quarter, with $3 billion in net income, up 66 percent from last year. Amazon has seen a huge boost in profitability in recent years, after seeing growth in businesses like cloud, advertising and the third-party marketplace, where margins are bigger but sales are smaller. Amazon is historically known for running on thin margins because it reinvests most of its profits back into the company.

Amazon finished the year with $232.9 billion in annual revenue, passing the $200 billion milestone for the first time. Cash and equivalents jumped 51 percent to $21 billion.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos highlighted the success of the Alexa voice-assistant in the earnings release.

“Alexa was very busy during her holiday season. Echo Dot was the best-selling item across all products on Amazon globally, and customers purchased millions more devices from the Echo family compared to last year,” Bezos said in a statement.

Amazon stock is up 18 percent over the past year. Its market cap, more than $840 billion as of Thursday afternoon, is the largest of any publicly traded company in the world.


  1. ^ Amazon (