Jul 30, 2020 - Technology

Amazon earnings blow past Wall Street expectations

A photo illustration of a smartphone displaying the Amazon logo.

Photo illustration: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Amazon smashed top- and bottom-line analyst expectations in the second quarter, sending shares climbing in after-hours trading Thursday.

The big picture: The earnings report suggests Amazon's growth and dominance are only expanding, just as calls to rein in the company rise from Washington.

Context: Already an e-commerce juggernaut, the company has become a lifeline for millions of people stuck at home as coronavirus continues to rack the world and the U.S. in particular.

  • That much was written in the earnings numbers, which come from the first full quarter of life under the pandemic.

By the numbers (analyst estimates courtesy of The Street):

  • Earnings per share (EPS): $10.30 vs. $1.46 expected per FactSet consensus
  • Revenue: $88.9 billion vs. $81.2 billion expected per FactSet consensus
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) revenue: $10.8 billion 

Be smart: Amazon posted a killer quarter even as it sunk some $4 billion into coronavirus-related costs and the broader U.S. economy tanked.

  • Amazon investors will obviously see that as a win, but Amazon critics may see it as a sign of profiting off a crisis and of further entrenching the company's grip on its corner of the retail market and on the marketplace it runs for third-party sellers.

Yes, but: Amazon's share of U.S. e-commerce has contracted this year, , according to a new report from Rakuten Intelligence (via the Washington Post), as the pandemic has sent people looking for a wider range of goods online — including when an item is out of stock or delayed on Amazon.

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