Amazon's third-quarter report arrives a few weeks before the holiday shopping season, when Amazon and other retailers enjoy a weeks-long spike in sales. For years, the company posted razor-thin quarterly profits, spending most of what it earned on building warehouses and making other investments.
U.S. stocks plunged on Friday as grim earnings reports from Amazon and Alphabet rekindled a rush to dump technology and high-growth stocks, but data showing economic growth in the last quarter slowed less than expected provided some relief. "So those are a couple factors that hit the global growth area in particularly", said Brian T. Olsavsky, chief financial officer at Amazon. In addition, Amazon faces a tougher year-over-year comparison because the Whole Foods deal closed in the third quarter of 2017, and the different timing of the holiday Diwali affected sales patterns, he said.
"We don't see any real structural issue with Amazon but almost every line in the business is decelerating a tad, and we typically see another deceleration in retail in 4Q, hence are struggling to identify a catalyst", Sandler said.
"Amazon saw a meaningful slowdown in their worldwide division".
That said, E-commerce titan Amazon has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1994. "Investors are waiting for more visibility for things to see where the rotation takes them", said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey. After blazing a path beyond $2,000 earlier this year, imputing a valuation of the company of $1 trillion, the stock price has fallen back a bit as tech stocks overall continue to get pummeled this fall. But that's changed as its Amazon Web Services unit, which provides cloud computing services to companies and government agencies, has become a major moneymaker for Amazon. Seller services grew 31 percent to $10.4 billion in the third quarter.
The fall of as much as 9 percent in shares knocked more than $80 billion off Amazon's market value and relegated it behind Microsoft Corp MSFT.O and Apple Inc AAPL.O in terms of market value.
Rivals are hoping to steal some sales from Amazon by mimicking its fast delivery. Wall Street was expecting $3.9 billion yet the company guided to $2.1 to $3.6 billion.
Olsavsky, the CFO, also said the company is operating more efficiently, hiring less than in the past and adding less warehousing space. Amazon already offers free shipping on millions of products if a customer buys at least $25 of goods, but only offers two-day shipping at no additional cost to its Prime members. Revenue jumped 29 percent to $56.6 billion, below a projected $57.10 billion.