Alexa credited for strong sales performance by Amazon

Alexa credited for strong sales performance by Amazon

Alexa credited for strong sales performance by Amazon

The online retail and technology giant, which acquired supermarket chain Whole Foods in August, has also released a wide range of new hardware products recently, including new versions of its Amazon Echo smart home speaker.

Overall for the three-month period ending September 30, profits totaled $256 million, or 52 per share, up slightly from $252 million, or 52 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue overall increased 34 percent from past year, due in part due to the $1.3 billion in sales from Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired in late-August.

Amazon's turned in earnings of 52 cents per share, the same EPS as last year's third quarter.

The company's summer marketing spectacle Prime Day has created a day of shopping similar to the holiday shopping season and helped it boost its sales.

"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. Revenue from subscription fees such as Prime grew 59 per cent to $2.4 billion.

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Revenue from Amazon Web Services, the company's fast-growing cloud services business, surged 41.9 percent to $4.58 billion, beating the average estimate of $4.52 billion given in polling by data and analytics firm FactSet. The company reported net income of $256 million on $43.7 billion in sales.

Still, Amazon shares were up by as much as 8 percent in extended hours, and have grown 30 percent year-to-date.

Unlike peers, Amazon runs on razor-thin profit margins because it sinks most of its profit back into its business.

(Amazon often chooses to reinvest in operations, and many predicted the company would do so this quarter, as well.) Even more heartening, it offered a rosier outlook for the fourth quarter and says it expects sales to come in between $56 billion and $60.5 billion, or between 28% and 38%. Analysts were expecting $930.78 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company plans to spend more on video content next year as well, Olsavsky said. Amazon had almost 542,000 employees at the end of last month, about 160,000 more than it had the year before. Analysts had predicted just over $42 billion in revenue.

It also brings the business model around Alexa skills a little closer to a mobile commerce type of model, where developers can charge extra for certain in-app products or features - in this case a subscription to additional content. Amazon has given other compensation over the a year ago to encourage Alexa skills development, though.

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