Amazon Rises as Profit Offsets Concern Over Higher Spending
Comment of the Day

January 30 2015

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Amazon Rises as Profit Offsets Concern Over Higher Spending

This article by Spencer Soper for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

For the fourth quarter -- typically the most lucrative for the Web retailer because of the holiday shopping season -- net income declined 12 percent from $239 million a year earlier while sales rose 15 percent from $25.6 billion. Operating expenses climbed 15 percent to $28.7 billion, which was a slower rate of increase than the 20 percent jump a year earlier.

Excluding an $895 million hit from foreign exchange rates, net sales increased 18 percent from a year ago, the company said. Gross margin was 29.5 percent, up from 26.5 percent.

Amazon also forecast first-quarter sales of $20.9 billion to $22.9 billion, falling short of analysts’ average projection of $23 billion.

“It felt like Amazon had a great holiday because they started early and they carried strong through,” said Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, which helps third-party merchants sell on Amazon.

Eoin Treacy's view

With turnover in the hundreds of billions and one of the most recognisable brands in the online world Amazon is a major player and one of the original cast of Autonomies. However the lack of focus on profits over the last year has been highlighted by investors as a deterrent to investing. This contributed to the underperformance of the share since hitting an accelerated peak a year ago. 

Today’s turn to profit sparked a rally which broke the yearlong progression of lower rally highs. A sustained move below $300 would now be required to question potential for some additional higher to lateral ranging. 

Today’s other large mover was Biogen which surged higher on better than expected earnings. The share had been ranging for much of the last year but today’s emphatic breakout reasserts medium-term demand dominance.  


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