business

Amazon Closes in on Trillion Dollar Market Cap After Strong Q4 Earnings

Amazon's stock shot up 10 percent after the bell on Thursday following a fourth-quarter earnings report that showed steady growth for the tech giant.
The bump pushed the company’s stock closer to a $1 trillion market cap.
The results reflect a year of heavy investment for the company as it expanded customer benefits like one-day delivery and sought out larger clients for its profitable cloud computing business.
All the heightened spending has led to some concern among investors, but this latest report shows that the investments could be paying off.
Net sales for the quarter were $87.4 billion, compared with $72.4 billion last year. Total net sales for the year were $281 billion, compared to $233 billion in 2018.
Earnings per share were $6.47 compared with $6.04 last year. And net income was $3.3 billion compared with $3 billion last year.
Amazon.com sales in North America represented 61 percent of net sales, with year-over-year growth of 22 percent, while the international division made up 27 percent of sales, with year over year growth of 14 percent.
North American sales pulled in $1.9 billion in income after operating expenses, while internationally the company operated at a loss of $617 million.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), the tech giant's cloud computing business that has come to dominate profits in recent years, made up 12 percent of net sales, with 34 percent year over year growth. The business generated $9.9 billion in income for the quarter.
The growth rate is still the lowest for AWS since Amazon started disclosing the unit's revenue in 2015, which analysts attribute to additional investments aimed at picking up larger clients.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos noted in the release that one-day and same-day delivery, which quadrupled from the same quarter last year, have helped drive sales. He also touted the growth in Amazon Prime memberships amid growing competition from other streaming services.
"Prime membership continues to get better for customers year after year. And customers are responding — more people joined Prime this quarter than ever before, and we now have over 150 million paid Prime members around the world," he said.
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