Amazon’s Q3 Beats Street As Sales Surge 37% To $96 Billion

Tech giant Amazon blasted through expectations with revenue at $96.1 billion, up 37% and earnings of $6.3 billion, or $12.37 a share for its fiscal third quarter. The stock popped initially Thursday after the company reported its earnings then backtracked as investors may have been underwhelmed by fourth-quarter predictions.

The results follow two blow-away quarters dominated by COVID-19 that made the company a must-have “stay-at-home” stock as the pandemic pushed online shopping to new heights and buoyed video viewing.

Amazon Prime Video is still a relatively small but increasingly higher profile piece of Jeff Bezos’ $1.7 trillion market cap company and isn’t broken out. But there was a shout-out out to the hottest TV property around today, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which Amazon Studios CEO Jennifer Salke said this week has generated “tens of millions of views.”

Amazon’s earnings release is always an odd laundry list of factoids of things big and small it’s done during the quarter. Here are a few:

  • The Amazon Studios global original movies slate continues to grow, with additions such as Sacha Baron Cohen’s political satire Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which recently launched globally on Prime Video, as well as Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, starring Michael B. Jordan, slated to launch in 2021.

  • Amazon premiered several new and returning Amazon Original series, including The Boys, Breathe into the Shadows, Bandish Bandits, Mirzapur,and Putham Pudhu Kaalai in India, Peep Time and Documental S8 in Japan, Pan y Circo in Mexico, and All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur in the UK.

  • Amazon Prime Video announced that live international rugby games will be exclusively available to UK Prime customers this winter with a brand new tournament called the Autumn Nations Cup. The tournament will feature the Six Nations (England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales) as well as two guest teams from Fiji and Georgia.

Amazon Prime belongs to the business line called Subscription Services that saw heady growth last quarter, with sales rising to nearly $6.6 billion, up from $4.9 billion a year ago and up from $6 billion in the previous second quarter.

One analyst estimates Amazon will expand global Prime memberships by nearly 20% in 2020 to 179 million members. Prime members apparently spend 2-3 times more money buying stuff on Amazon than non-members.

A Jefferies analyst, citing industry sources, said the company is adding the equivalent of 40 football fields of capacity each week in the U.S. alone and will see total capacity up by 70% year over year, with a surge in number of packages handled. The key this holiday season, Jefferies said, is whether the capacity expansions will be enough to handle an expected surge in demand and orders.

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