Amazon crushes earnings expectations, but revenue growth slows

Amazon crushed expectations for its first-quarter results on Thursday, reporting earnings that easily surpassed Wall Street’s projections even as revenue growth slowed.

The e-commerce giant posted earnings per share of $7.09, beating the $4.27 expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv. Amazon recorded its fourth straight quarter of record profit. Quarterly revenue rose 17 percent to $59.7 billion, roughly in line with expectations, but growth was down from 46 percent in the same period one year ago.

In the first quarter, North America revenue grew 17 percent to $35.8 billion, compared to 46 percent growth in the same period one year ago. International revenue growth also saw a considerable slowdown, rising just 9 percent compared to 34 percent one year ago.

Amazon said it expects revenue of between $59.5 billion and $63.5 billion, a range which falls within Wall Street’s expectations.

The company posted strong results despite a series of high-profile incidents in the quarter. Amazon canceled plans to build a second headquarters in the New York City borough of Queens after encountering fierce resistance from local politicians, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY. The company will move forward with plans to build a new campus in northern Virginia.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos finalized divorce proceedings with former wife MacKenzie Bezos earlier this month. The company founder will keep 75 percent of the former couple's jointly held Amazon stock, as well as full ownership of the Washington Post and Blue Origin. He will also retain voting control over his ex-wife's shares, which amount to 4 percent of the company.

Company officials have said they plan to increase investments this year after a relative cutback in 2018. The company's expenses grew by 12.6 percent, down from recent quarters.


Shares were up slightly in after-hours trading and have gained more than 20 percent so far this year.

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