Amazon Beats Earnings Expectations, Revenue Up 31 Percent

Jeff Bezos
Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images for Amazon Studios

Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos attends Amazon Studios Premiere Screening for "Alpha House" on Nov. 11, 2013 in New York City. 

Once known for its big expenditures and significant losses, Amazon is now on a profitability streak. 

The e-commerce giant made $1.78 per share during the second quarter, it announced Thursday. Revenue was up 31 percent to $30.4 billion. Both numbers came in significantly higher than Wall Street was expecting. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters anticipated earnings of $1.11 per share on revenue of $29.55 billion. 

This represented the fifth-straight quarter of profits for Amazon, which operated at a loss or nearly even for years as it build up what is now a formidable e-commerce business.

"It's been a busy few months for Amazon around the world, and particularly in India," CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement, pointing to the launch of Amazon Web Services and Prime in the region. "The team in India is inventing at a torrid pace, and we're very grateful to our Indian customers for their welcoming response."  

Amazon is coming off a successful Prime Day campaign, which was the biggest day ever for the company and its devices. But the 60 percent year-over-year growth in Prime Day sales won't factor into the company's bottom line until it reports third quarter because it fell in July. The company forecast revenue between $31 billion and $33.5 billion for the third quarter. 

Amazon remains tight lipped about the number of people subscribing to its Prime service, which offers free shipping and access to streaming video and music for $99 a year. In fact, the company did not provide any new details about the growth of prime in its second quarter earnings release, but executives are sure to receive a query or two about how Prime is faring during its conference call with investors on Thursday afternoon. 

Despite the gains, Amazon shares immediately dropped more than 2 percent during after-hours trading before correcting and shooting up by 3 percent. Amazon shares had closed Thursday up 2 percent, or more than $15, to $752.61.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

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