Amazon defies technology sector slowdown to post soaraway profits

Amazon has reported profit and revenue which blew past analysts’ expectations, sending its shares soaring in after-hours trading. The world’s biggest online retailer posted a better-than-expected profit of $513 million and its shares leapt by nearly 13%. The e-tailer’s results, boosted by rising sales of its indle reading devices and Fire tablet computers, were in sharp contrast to its disappointing end to last year, which left investors worried about its thin profit margins. It was also good news for the technology sector, after unimpressive figures from the likes of Apple and Microsoft.

The fact that they’re profitable is a big deal. It’s more of a big deal after some of the disappointing numbers from Apple and others.

Christian Magoon, chief executive of Amplify Investments

Revenues for the quarter climbed 28% to $29.1bn – the biggest growth since 2012 – while the company pencilled in revenues of up to $30.5bn for the current quarter. Growth in its cloud computing services also helped bolster the figures. Chief executive Jeff Bezos said Amazon had seen strong sales of its own devices such as the Fire TV streaming stick and the Echo smart speaker. Amazon also said it saw strong growth in subscribers to its Prime loyalty programme, which offers one-hour delivery, original TV programming and access to music and video products, for an annual $99 fee in the US, or £79 in the UK.

I think we may have hit a point where it’s going to be hard for them to spend enough to hide all this profitability

Scot Wingo, , executive chairman of e-commerce consultant ChannelAdvisor