Amazon's Quarterly Revenue Rises 15%, Shares Soar

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Internet retailing giant Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) on Thursday reported first quarter earnings that included for the first time profits from its cloud services business, numbers that sent its stock soaring in after-hours trading.

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The company beat Wall Street’s expectations for revenue and earnings per share.

Amazon’s shares were up $18, or 4.6% in after-hours trading.

Amazon’s net sales increased 15% to $22.72 billion in the first quarter, compared with $19.74 billion in first quarter 2014. Analysts had forecast revenue of $22.39 billion.

Excluding $1.3 billion in losses from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 22% compared to first quarter 2014, the company said.

Net loss was $57 million in the first quarter, or 12 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $108 million, or 23 cents per diluted share, in first quarter 2014.

The cloud service, called Amazon Web Services (AWS), saw revenue of $1.57 billion last quarter, or a run rate of more than $6 billion a year, the company said in its earnings statement. That's an increase of 49% over last year and in line with analysts’ expectations.

AWS reported profits of $265 million, up from $245 million a year ago.

It’s the first time Amazon has broken out the finances of its decade-old cloud services.

“Amazon Web Services is a $5 billion business and still growing fast -- in fact it’s accelerating,” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said in a statement. “Born a decade ago, AWS is a good example of how we approach ideas and risk-taking at Amazon. We strive to focus relentlessly on the customer, innovate rapidly, and drive operational excellence.”

Operating income increased 74% to $255 million in the first quarter, compared with operating income of $146 million in first quarter 2014.

Operating cash flow increased 47% to $7.84 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $5.35 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2014. Free cash flow increased to $3.16 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $1.49 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

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