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Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

With the pandemic driving consumers to shop online, Amazon beat analyst expectations on Thursday with its Q3 results, though its stock price didn't see much of a bump.

Why it matters: Despite incurring what it estimates was about $2.5 billion in pandemic-related costs during the quarter, Amazon's revenue grew 37% year-over-year to $96.1 billion and its profits to $6.3 billion, up 197% year-over-year.

By the numbers:

  • Earnings per share: $12.37, compared to $7.41 expected, per Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $96.1 billion, compared to $92.7 billion expected, per Refinitiv.
  • Amazon Web Services: $11.6 billion in revenue, up from $9 billion a year ago.

Between the lines: Though an initial surge in consumer activity in the spring was due to customers stocking up on certain items, Amazon is still seeing heavy usage and Prime membership renewals, the company told analysts during a call about its earnings.

  • It also expects to lose some online shopping to brick-and-mortar stores once more of them re-open.

Executives described the performance of Amazon Web Services as a "mixed bag."

  • Long term growth will continue as businesses seek to cut overall costs by moving to the cloud.
  • However, in the short term, AWS's customers are also tightening their spending, and cloud computing is one area in which they can do so.

Amazon is also seeing more customers try out its digital services like Prime Video, which also correlates to more Amazon online shopping.

As far as the billions it's spending during the pandemic, the company says the costs come in areas like onboarding new hires, social distancing, extended breaks, cleaning, supplies, and testing. It doesn't expect these to recur once the pandemic has ended.

  • Pandemic-related costs are expected to rise to $4 billion next quarter, the company said.
  • At the same time, Amazon told analysts it saved about $1 billion on company travel this year, as well as on dramatically decreased marketing for a portion of the year.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Chevron posts another quarterly loss under weight of pandemic

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Chevron posted another quarterly loss Friday in the latest sign of how the pandemic is still weighing on oil companies despite some price recovery during the second half of the year.

Driving the news: The oil giant reported a $665 million loss for the October-December period, but it shrinks to $11 million on an adjusted basis after considering charges on its acquisition of Noble Energy and "foreign currency effects."

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: How data and the pandemic have democratized the "high-performance lifestyle — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: Pfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains — Republicans are least likely to want the coronavirus vaccine
  3. U.S. news: California surpasses 50,000 deaths COVID-19 deaths, more than any other state — Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter return to church after receiving COVID-19 vaccines
  4. Local: Public transit ridership in Twin Cities dropped 53% amid pandemic — Data firm predicts "complete chaos" in next phases of Florida's vaccine rolloutAlaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tests positive for the coronavirus

Acting Capitol Police chief: Phone logs show Jan. 6 National Guard approval was delayed

Pittman at a congressional tribute for fallen officer Brian Sicknick. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman testified on Thursday that cellphone records show former USCP chief Steven Sund requested National Guard support from the House sergeant-at-arms as early as 12:58pm on Jan. 6, but he did not receive approval until over an hour later.

Why it matters: Sund and former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over a dispute in the timeline for when Capitol Police requested the National Guard during the Capitol insurrection.