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Amazon.com beats analyst estimates in Q1

Online retailer Amazon.com has reported first quarter 2003 pro forma earnings that beat analyst expectations, citing lowered costs and increased US and international sales.

Amazon.com reported a first-quarter net loss of $10m (£6.3m) compared with a loss of $23m in the first quarter of 2002.

The company said it had a net income of $40m (£25m) compared with a net loss of $5m for the same quarter a year ago.

Net sales for the first quarter totalled $1.08bn (£680m), a 28% increase from $847m for the same quarter last year.

Amazon.com said the strategy of driving down costs to give customers lower prices paid off in making this quarter its first non-holiday quarter in which it achieved sales over $1bn.

Revenue from North America grew 13% year-on-year, to $705m (£444m), Amazon.com said.

The company's international sales, representing its UK, German, French and Japanese sites, grew to $379m (£239m) in the first quarter, up 45% from a year ago.

Operating income from the international segment was $16m (£10m), a $27m increase and reversing a loss from the year-ago quarter, the company said.

The results come on the heels of strong sales reported for the fourth-quarter of 2002, which were pinned on thriving holiday and international sales.

Amazon.com predicted second-quarter net sales of between $1bn and $1.05bn, a year-on-year increase of between 24% and 30%. The company expects second-quarter operating income of between $45m and $60m.
 
For the full year 2003, Amazon.com expects net sales to total $4.7bn (£2.9bn) or more, an increase of more than 19% compared with the previous year.

The company expects operating income to be $275m (£173m) or more, up more than 50% over the previous year.


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