Amazon seems to be blessed with the kind of investors that most listed companies would kill for: They keep on rewarding its losses. Its latest quarterly results showed losses of $41 million – admittedly down from $274 million for the same period in 2012. But analysts and investors went with the 24 percent revenue uptick to $17.1 billion, “topping analysts’ average projection of $16.8 billion,” according to Bloomberg, and pushed its stock up 8.4 percent.
Some of the negative forecasts, such as Paulo Santos at “Seeking Alpha,” proved far too pessimistic. That said, other far more positive analysts, such as Sucharita Mulpuru at Forrester Research, have still pointed out that increased sales also means increased delivery costs, and that the recent raising of the minimum free delivery threshold could be a response to the pressures from this. It’ll be interesting to see whether the delivery cost issue does curb Amazon’s further growth – with hand-over-fist increases like this, it seems like Amazon could afford to shed quite a bit of growth impetus and still come out strong.
So does anyone really think there’s a challenge to Amazon’s model? That $41 million is within the realm of a rounding error against sales figures of over $17 billion. It wouldn’t take more than a few nips and tucks to put the whole company in the black. To that extent, the investors are right. Amazon is passing up the chance to record an eye-catching profit in order to plow money back into financing further growth. And what bank wouldn’t extend credit to expand further growth on the back of this kind of performance?
“As Amazon.com has grown aggressively in recent years, expanded into diverse businesses, and achieved profitability, its impact on the eBusiness and retail sectors is now top of mind,” said Forrester Research, way back in July 2012. It’s only grown to matter even more since.