Amazon reports huge sales, but still has a net loss

October 24, 2013
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Amazon announced their Q3 2013 earnings today, and results are mixed. A huge jump in net sales helped the online retailer make an impact and bottleneck losses, but they’re still there. Though not as bad as in previous quarters, Amazon still takes a hit on their bottom line.


With a reported net sales figure of %17.09 billion, you'd expect Amazon would be on easy street. That figure is up 26% over last year, when Amazon reported $13.81 billion in net sales. Those figures don’t include “unfavorable” exchange rate fluctuations, which totalled $332 million for this quarter.

That all belies Amazon’s continued losses, where they saw an operating loss of $25 million. That’s nearly identical to the $28 million in Q3 2012, and is indicative of losses elsewhere. Amazon reports a net loss of $41 million for Q3 2013, or $0.09/share. While troubling and perhaps alarming, it’s nowhere near the $274 million the lost in Q3 2012, or $0.60/share.

While net losses are always troubling, something has clearly changed at Amazon. On a 26% net sales increase, they stymied net losses by 86%. Jeff Bezos has never been one for scrambling to improve, as his letters to investors routinely highlight how happy their customers are. Amazon loses money just about every quarter, yet investors are lynching the CEO. Whatever Amazon is doing right, it’s starting to show in a big way.


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