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Amazon 3Q Sales Up 34%, Stock Soars

SEATTLE — Amazon.com, Inc. announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2017.

Operating cash flow increased 14% to $17.1 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $15.0 billion for the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2016. Free cash flow decreased to $8.1 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $9.0 billion for the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2016. Free cash flow less lease principal repayments decreased to $3.5 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $5.3 billion for the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2016. Free cash flow less finance lease principal repayments and assets acquired under capital leases decreased to an outflow of $1.0 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with an inflow of $3.8 billion for the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2016.

Common shares outstanding plus shares underlying stock-based awards totaled 503 million on September 30, 2017, compared with 496 million one year ago.

Net sales increased 34% to $43.7 billion in the third quarter, compared with $32.7 billion in third quarter 2016. Net sales includes $1.3 billion from Whole Foods Market, which Amazon acquired on August 28, 2017. Excluding Whole Foods Market and the $124 million favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 29% compared with third quarter 2016.

Operating income decreased 40% to $347 million in the third quarter, compared with operating income of $575 million in third quarter 2016. Operating income includes income of $21 million from Whole Foods Market.

Net income was $256 million in the third quarter, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared with net income of $252 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, in third quarter 2016.

“In the last month alone, we’ve launched five new Alexa-enabled devices, introduced Alexa in India, announced integration with BMW, surpassed 25,000 skills, integrated Alexa with Sonos speakers, taught Alexa to distinguish between two voices, and more. Because Alexa’s brain is in the AWS cloud, her new abilities are available to all Echo customers, not just those who buy a new device,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “And it’s working — customers have purchased tens of millions of Alexa-enabled devices, given Echo devices over 100,000 5-star reviews, and active customers are up more than 5x since the same time last year. With thousands of developers and hardware makers building new Alexa skills and devices, the Alexa experience will continue to get even better.”

During its conference call on the earnings report, Dave Fildes, Senior Manager of Investor Relations, mentioned the updates for Amazon Business customers. “I think what you're seeing us do is really focus on services that meet those business multi-user accounts, improving approval workflow tools and just more recently, we introduced Amazon Business for Business Prime Shipping, which we think will be a great way for businesses to use multiuser,” Fildes said. “Business customers have multi-user accounts, and that's in the U.S. and Germany.  So I think its part of that offering, and we will really have to see how that evolves.”

Highlights

  • Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market on August 28, 2017. The two companies together will pursue the vision of making high-quality, natural, and organic food affordable for everyone. Upon closing, Whole Foods Market began offering lower prices on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores, with more to come.
  • Amazon Business expanded to Japan and India, and now serves businesses of all sizes in five countries across the globe.
  • Amazon Business launched Business Prime Shipping, offering unlimited free two-day shipping for multi-user business customers in the U.S. and Germany.
  • Amazon expects to create more than 120,000 seasonal jobs in its U.S.network of fulfillment centers, sortation centers, and customer service sites. Last year, Amazon transitioned thousands of holiday positions to regular, full-time roles after the holidays, and plans to continue that trend this year.
  • Amazon announced its search for Amazon HQ2, its second headquarters city in North America, where it expects to invest $5 billion and create as many as 50,000 jobs. Amazon received 238 proposals from across North America.
  • Amazon launched Amazon Wind Farm Texas, its largest windfarm yet, which generates more than 1,000,000 megawatt hours of clean energy annually from over 100 turbines. Amazon now has 18 solar and wind projects live across the U.S. with more than 35 on the way. Together, Amazon’s renewable energy projects now produce enough clean energy to power over 330,000 homes annually.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that the following customers are going all-in on AWS: Toyota Racing Development, one of the most accomplished and acclaimed engineering companies in motorsports; and Randstad, a leading global HR services company. GRAIL, a life sciences company whose mission is early cancer detection, Hulu, and FICO all selected AWS as their cloud provider. AWS was also named the preferred cloud provider for General Electric (GE) as it undergoes one of the largest and most important digital transformations in its history.
  • AWS and Microsoft announced Gluon, a new open source deep learning library that allows developers of all skill levels to prototype, build, train, and deploy sophisticated machine learning models for the cloud, devices at the edge, and mobile apps.
  • AWS launched per-second billing in all regions for Linux-based EC2 instances, Elastic Graphical Processing Units (GPU), Elastic Block Store (EBS) Volumes, AWS Batch, and Elastic Map Reduce (EMR). Customers using these services will now be billed in one-second (versus one-hour) increments.
  • AWS introduced the AWS Migration Hub, a free service that provides a single location for customers to track the status of migrations across their application portfolio. AWS Migration Hub helps customers reduce the overall time and effort spent on migration projects while also helping to identify and troubleshoot issues along the way.
  • AWS introduced the general availability of Lambda@Edge. This new AWS Lambda feature can be used to run Node.js functions across AWS locations globally without provisioning or managing servers, allowing customers to deliver richer, more personalized content with low latency to their end users.
  • AWS and VMware announced the initial availability of VMware Cloud on AWS, which brings VMware’s software-defined data center (SDDC) to the AWS Cloud, and allows customers to run applications across operationally consistent VMware vSphere-based private, public, and hybrid cloud environments, with optimized access to AWS services. VMware Cloud on AWS is delivered, sold, and supported by VMware as an on-demand, elastically-scalable cloud service that removes barriers to cloud migration and cloud portability, increases IT efficiency, and opens up new opportunities for customers to leverage a hybrid cloud environment. Early customers include Brink’s, Cerner, Elemica, MIT, Moody’s, the State of Louisiana, and Sysco.
  • AWS announced that it will open a new infrastructure region in the Middle East in 2019. Currently, AWS provides 44 Availability Zones across 16 infrastructure regions worldwide, with another 14 Availability Zones across five AWS Regions in China, France, Hong Kong, Sweden, and a second GovCloud Region in the U.S. expected to come online by the end of 2018.
  • AWS announced the general availability of AWS Glue, a fully managed extract, transform, and load (ETL) service that makes it easy for customers to prepare and load their data into Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Redshift, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), and databases running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for query and analysis. Customers like NewsCorp, 21stCentury Fox, myTomorrows, the OLX Group, and Herman Miller (via APN Partner OST) are using AWS Glue to make data available for analysis in minutes, and since AWS Glue is serverless, they only pay for the compute resources they consume while executing data preparation and loading jobs.
  • AWS launched Amazon Macie, a new security service that uses machine learning to help customers prevent data loss by automatically discovering, classifying, and protecting sensitive data in AWS. Customers such as Autodesk, Edmunds, and Netflix are using Amazon Macie to recognize sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII) or intellectual property, and provide dashboards and alerts that give visibility into how this data is being accessed or moved. Amazon Macie continuously monitors data access activity for anomalies, and generates detailed alerts when it detects risk of unauthorized access or inadvertent data leaks.
  • AWS announced general availability of Amazon EC2 Elastic GPUs, making it easy to attach low-cost graphics acceleration to a wide range of EC2 instances over the network for a fraction of the cost of standalone graphics instances.
  • AWS GovCloud (US) received an Impact Level 5 (IL5) Department of Defense Provisional Authorization (PA) to Support Mission-Critical Systems. This means that DoD (DODSF) customers may now run workloads for highly-sensitive Controlled Unclassified Information as well as unclassified National Security Systems on AWS in the GovCloud Region.

Fourth Quarter 2017 Guidance

  • Net sales are expected to be between $56.0 billion and $60.5 billion, or to grow between 28% and 38% compared with fourth quarter 2016. This guidance includes approximately 1,000 basis points of impact to our year-over-year growth rate from Whole Foods Market. This guidance also anticipates a favorable impact of approximately $1.2 billion or 270 basis points from foreign exchange rates.
  • Operating income is expected to be between $300 million and $1.65 billion, compared with $1.3 billion in fourth quarter 2016.
  • This guidance assumes, among other things, that no additional business acquisitions, investments, restructurings, or legal settlements are concluded.

 

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