Alexa credited for strong sales performance by Amazon

28 October, 2017, 01:07 | Author: Lester Mason
  • Dish expands Alexa support to its Joey receivers for voice-controlled TV throughout the home

Shares at the e-commerce giant were up over 7% in trading afterhours.

Amazon also reported net income of 52 cents per share, even with the same period in 2016. That includes $1.3 billion from Whole Foods.

O'Shea also noted revenue growth and operating income at AWS "more than offset" the loss Amazon took on through investments in its global business. That easily beat the 2 cents per share analysts had expected, according to FactSet.

Impressively, Amazon has managed to increase the pace of growth from its online stores, where sales increased by 22% over the prior year.

Amazon's adjusted net sales, therefore, handily exceeded management's forecast for third-quarter net sales between $39.25 billion and $41.75 billion.

"I think over time, you'll see more cooperation and working together between AmazonFresh, Prime Now, and Whole Foods as we can explore different ways to serve the customer", Olsavsky said during an earnings call. Here's what to expect from the king of e-commerce. "Of those services, Subscriptions (which includes Prime) and Other (which includes advertising) are its fastest-growing businesses". Even so, Amazon collected $3.5 billion of free cash in the third quarter, roughly 10 times the operating income metric.

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Amazon has begun charging for Alexa skills, as the online retailer looks to monetize the apps used by its Echo smart speakers.

As is typical for the retailing giant, it took the earnings report as an opportunity to spotlight achievements, including three new Echo devices, five new Alexa-enabled devices, teaching Alexa to distinguish between two voices, and improvements in its AWS division.

"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 five times since the same time past year".

This is good news given that Amazon just rolled out an array of new Alexa-enabled devices just before the holiday season.

Amazon now pays developers out of its own pocket to create the skills, which Echo users are then able to download and install onto their Alexa at no charge.

Operating income sank 40% to $347 million, and net income rose to $256 million, far above analysts' expectations. The announcement solicited 238 bids from cities across the continent, but HQ2's potential employment represents less than 10 percent of today's total workforce, and who knows how many people Amazon will employ when it starts building HQ2 in 2019 or when it finishes up eight to 10 years later. The midpoint of Amazon's guidance for that period now sits at $68 billion, including a $4.4 billion Whole Foods contribution.



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