£25 billion revenue isn't enough to stop Amazon share drop

It appears Amazon's investors weren't satisfied with the company's largest quarterly profit ever, as shares fell up to 15 per cent in after-hours trading yesterday.

This drop wiped more than $30 billion (£20.9 billion) off Amazon's market value, despite a profit of $482 million (£335 million) over the holiday period and a third straight quarter of profit.

A failure to meet investor expectations has been cited as the reason for the drop on Wall Street which, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney, is the sixth straight year Amazon has come up short. Apparently, not even $35.7 billion (£24.8bn) in revenue isn't enough any more.

2015 was generally a good year for Amazon. The company performed well in the stock market, outperforming the likes of Alphabet, Apple and Facebook and doubling its value to over £300 billion (£209bn). This was partly due to more and more consumers favouring online retailers over physical stores, boosted by its £79-a-year Amazon Prime service which offers customers video streaming and unlimited shipping.

Its cloud unit - Amazon Web Services - also enjoyed a sales increase throughout the year, jumping 69 per cent to $2.4 billion (£1.6bn) with an operating profit of $687 million (£478m). Amazon has announced multiple new datacentres in recent months in countries such as China, the UK and Canada, which have helped to boost its AWS offering.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com said: "Twenty years ago, I was driving the packages to the post office myself and hoping we might one day afford a forklift. This year, we pass $100 billion in annual sales and serve 300 million customers. And still, measured by the dynamism we see everywhere in the marketplace and by the ever-expanding opportunities we see to invent on behalf of customers, it feels every bit like Day 1."

The downside is that expenses have also increased, with operating costs rising to $34.6 billion (£24.1bn) - an rise of 20.5 per cent. Shipping costs also rose significantly in the last quarter of 2015, by 37 per cent to $4.1 billion (£2.8bn).

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