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Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Amazon announced strong quarterly results Thursday after the market close, with $6.47 earnings per share on an expected $4.04 (per FactSet) and total revenue of $87.44 billion on $86.02 billion expected.

Why it matters: Wall Street has wondered whether Amazon's huge investments in one-day delivery and cloud services would depress its financial performance. This quarter, at least, gave investors a positive surprise.

Details: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Thursday that its Amazon Prime subscription offering has now reached 150 million users globally, which is just shy of Netflix’s 167 million global paid subscribers.

  • But unlike Netflix, Amazon didn’t offer a geographical breakdown of those subscribers. (The majority of Netflix subscribers are international.)
  • That number is up from “over 100 million” which was last reported almost two years ago.
  • In a statement, Bezos touted the success of Amazon Studios, the entertainment division that creates and acquires thousands of movies and TV shows offered exclusively to Prime members.
  • He didn’t offer any exact viewership metrics, but noted that Prime members watched twice as many hours of original programming (programming produced by Amazon Studios) last quarter than the quarter of the prior year.

On the advertising front, Amazon reported that its “other” category, which is mostly made up of advertising revenue, was up 41% year-over-year to over $4.7 billion.

  • Amazon’s ad business, while growing rapidly, is notably different from Google’s in that it’s mostly marketers paying to promote their products in search, and thus it's more like a fee to participate in the marketplace rather than true low-funnel advertising. To maintain ad growth, Amazon has experimented with more brand ads, especially video.
  • Amazon also announced that its Fire TV hardware product, which competes with Roku and Apple TV, now has more than 40 million active users worldwide.

Go deeper

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro.

4 hours ago - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.

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