Amazon 1st Quarter Net Income Jumps

NEW YORK (AP) —

Amazon’s first-quarter profit rose 18 percent, as shoppers continued to flock to the online mega retailer to buy goods.

Still, the company forecasts an operating loss for the second quarter as it continues to invest heavily both internationally and at home.

Amazon has long focused on spending the money it makes to grow its business and expand into new areas, from video streaming to e-readers and even grocery delivery. On Wednesday, it launched Prime Pantry, a grocery delivery service for Prime members. Rumors of an Amazon phone have been swirling as well, but nothing has materialized.

“We get our energy from inventing on behalf of customers, and 2014 is off to a kinetic start,” said CEO Jeff Bezos.

While investors have largely given Amazon a pass for focusing on growth and investing rather than turning a strong profit, Amazon has been making some moves lately to strengthen its bottom line. It boosted its Prime 2-day shipping membership program annual fee from $79 to $99 in March to offset higher shipping costs.

Shipping costs rose 31 percent to $1.83 billion during the quarter.

Net income for the quarter rose to $108 million, or 23 cents per share. That compares with net income of $82 million, or 18 cents per share, last year. Analysts had expected 21 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 23 percent, to $19.74 billion from $16.07 billion. Analysts had expected $19.42 billion.

In fiscal 2014, the company expects revenue of $18.1 billion to $19.8 billion. Analysts expect $19.01 billion. It expects an operating loss between $455 million and $55 million in the second quarter, compared with operating income of $79 million last year.

In a call with investors, Tom Szkutak, Amazon’s chief financial officer, said the predicted loss is due to investing “heavily” in its international operations as well as other areas of its business, including the content it provides.

Amazon shares rose 3.9 percent to close at $337.15. The stock reached an all-time high of $408.06 on Jan. 22. Since then, it has dropped 17 percent.

 

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