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Amazon Fourth Quarter Sales Up 21%

January 31, 2020
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(Authorlink Editor’s Note: This Amazon press release substantiates Amazon’s growing dominance into every aspect of American life and commerce, highlighting the need for our legal system to apply restraints. For example, should the same giant company that has as its client a subsidiary of our  country’s financial regulatory agency, FINRA) also be doing business with Iran? See SEC FILING?)

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 30, 2020– Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2019.

Operating cash flow increased 25% to $38.5 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $30.7 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2018. Free cash flow increased to $25.8 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $19.4 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2018. Free cash flow less principal repayments of finance leases and financing obligations increased to $16.2 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $11.6 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2018. Free cash flow less equipment finance leases and principal repayments of all other finance leases and financing obligations increased to $12.5 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $8.4 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2018.

Common shares outstanding plus shares underlying stock-based awards totaled 512 million on December 31, 2019, compared with 507 million one year ago.

Fourth Quarter 2019

Net sales increased 21% to $87.4 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $72.4 billion in fourth quarter 2018. Excluding the $120 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 21% compared with fourth quarter 2018.

Operating income increased to $3.9 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with operating income of $3.8 billion in fourth quarter 2018.

Net income increased to $3.3 billion in the fourth quarter, or $6.47 per diluted share, compared with net income of $3.0 billion, or $6.04 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2018.

Full Year 2019

Net sales increased 20% to $280.5 billion, compared with $232.9 billion in 2018. Excluding the $2.6 billion unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the year, net sales increased 22% compared with 2018.

Operating income increased to $14.5 billion, compared with operating income of $12.4 billion in 2018.

Net income increased to $11.6 billion, or $23.01 per diluted share, compared with net income of $10.1 billion, or $20.14 per diluted share, in 2018.

“Prime membership continues to get better for customers year after year. And customers are responding — more people joined Prime this quarter than ever before, and we now have over 150 million paid Prime members around the world,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “We’ve made Prime delivery faster — the number of items delivered to U.S. customers with Prime’s free one-day and same-day delivery more than quadrupled this quarter compared to last year. Members now have free two-hour grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market in more than 2,000 U.S. cities and towns. Prime members watched double the hours of original movies and TV shows on Prime Video this quarter compared to last year, and Amazon Originals received a record 88 nominations and 26 wins at major awards shows. A huge thank you to teams across Amazon for their dedicated work to build, innovate, and deliver for customers this holiday.”

Highlights

  • During this holiday season, customers ordered billions of items worldwide, including tens of millions of Amazon devices. Best-selling devices this holiday were Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote, and Echo Show 5.
  • Amazon announced that delivery through Amazon Fresh, which was previously $14.99 a month, is now a free benefit for Prime members. Members in more than 2,000 U.S. cities and towns can access free two-hour grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market. Grocery delivery orders from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market more than doubled in the fourth quarter year-over-year.
  • Amazon announced Alexa integrations with new automotive brands at CES 2020. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is adding Alexa to the newest version of its infotainment system for cars, Uconnect 5.0, Lamborghini is adding Alexa to its Huracan Evo range, and Rivian is integrating Alexa into its electric vehicle lineup, including its upcoming fleet of 100,000 all-electric Amazon delivery vans.
  • Alexa continues to get smarter and make customers’ lives easier with new features, including medication reminders and voice refills, BuzzFeed Tasty recipe videos, the ability to pay utility bills, and purchase fuel at more than 11,500 Exxon and Mobil stations. Customers can also enjoy even more entertainment options for Alexa including content from Spotify Free, Spotify Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, SiriusXM’s On Demand library, and Tubi TV. Additionally customers can say “Alexa, why did you do that?” to hear short explanations about her response.
  • Amazon announced additional companies joined the Voice Interoperability Initiative, a program to ensure voice-enabled products provide customers with choice and flexibility through multiple, interoperable voice services. New participants include automakers such as Audi and Volkswagen; brands such as Acer, BBC, Hisense, TIM, TiVo, and Vestel; and technology brands Aspinity, Syntiant, and Vesper.
  • Amazon announced there are now hundreds of millions of Alexa-enabled devices in customers’ hands and customers interact with Alexa billions of times each week. Customers rely on Alexa to control smart home devices hundreds of millions of times each week, and can enjoy new features including the ability to pause or resume Wi-Fi access in their home using voice.
  • Fire TV now has more than 40 million active users worldwide. Amazon announced the new Fire TV Edition at CES 2020, which includes a set of tools, features, and services that make it even easier for developers, operators, device makers, and manufacturers to integrate Fire TV into their products. BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are among the first automakers to introduce Fire TV in their future vehicles.
  • Fire TV announced the expansion of Fire TV Edition Smart TVs in India with Onida, adding to the growing list of Fire TV Edition Smart TVs and soundbars from brands like Toshiba, Insignia, and Grundig. Fire TV added more content for customers, including apps from Disney+, Apple TV, and Peloton.
  • Amazon released several new products and services designed for kids, including the all-new Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, Kindle Kids Edition, Echo Glow, and expansion of FreeTime on Alexa to Echo Show devices — enabling kids to watch age-appropriate videos, make video calls with approved family and friends, take photos and add stickers, and more.
  • Ring announced several new products and features, including additions to its smart lighting lineup and the all-new Control Center, a new, easy-to-use dashboard where customers can view and control privacy and security settings. Ring also launched Ring Alarm in the U.K., as well as the all-new Indoor Cam and Stick Up Cam in several countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
  • Amazon Original series Hunters will premiere on Prime Video on February 21st. Produced by Academy Award-winner Jordan Peele and starring Academy Award-winner Al Pacino, Hunters follows a diverse band of Nazi hunters living in 1977 New York City. Prime Video debuted several Original series and movies last quarter including The Report, The Aeronauts, The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Special, The Expanse, as well as the return of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, and the final season of The Man in the High Castle.
  • Prime Video received eight Golden Globe Award nominations, with Fleabag winning Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy, as well as Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy, for Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
  • Amazon Music has more than 55 million customers worldwide. Collectively, in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan, Amazon Music customers have grown nearly 50% year-over-year; and in newer marketplaces France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico, Amazon Music customers more than doubled in 2019. Additionally, Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers grew more than 50% in 2019.
  • Amazon announced that free returns can now be made at more than 18,000 drop-off locations in the U.S., including Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star stores, Amazon Hub locations, Kohl’s, select Whole Foods Market stores, UPS, and more. In support of Amazon’s commitment to sustainability, more than 5,800 locations now offer label-free and box-free returns, limiting the amount of packaging used.
  • Since launching Prime in September, Brazil has seen the fastest growth in paid Prime members in Amazon’s history. Selection on amazon.com.br continues to expand and now includes millions of items, and in December the country opened its fourth fulfillment center to support growth. Additionally, Prime Video announced four new original productions for 2020, and will debut All or Nothing: Brazil National Football Team on January 31st.
  • Amazon pledged to invest $1 billion to help digitize traders and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMBs) across India, with the goal of bringing more than 10 million MSMBs online by 2025. Today, there are more than 550,000 sellers on the Amazon India marketplace, more than 60,000 Indian manufacturers and brands are exporting their “Make in India” products to customers worldwide on Amazon, and we expect our new $1 billion investment to enable $10 billion in cumulative Indian exports by 2025.
  • Since launching amazon.in in 2013, Amazon has created more than 700,000 direct and indirect jobs in India. In January, Amazon announced plans to create an additional one million jobs in India by 2025, with continued investments in technology, infrastructure, and logistics. Since 2014, Amazon has grown its employee base more than four times, and last year inaugurated its new campus building in Hyderabad — Amazon’s first fully-owned campus outside the United States and the largest building globally in terms of employees and space.
  • Amazon India announced it will have 10,000 electric vehicles in its delivery fleet by 2025. This investment is part of Amazon’s recent co-founding of The Climate Pledge, a commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early by achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
  • Amazon Business launched in Canada and now serves commercial and public sector organizations of all sizes in Canada and eight other countries, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and India. Amazon Business also launched Business Prime in Canada. Business Prime offers member-only benefits to help save time and money, in addition to unlimited fast, free shipping on eligible items for every member on the account.
  • Amazon Fashion produced its first holiday catalog featuring influencers Louise Roe, Ayana Iman Gibbs, Tylynn Nguyen, and their families in our favorite holiday looks. Additionally, Amazon Fashion and Amazon Home partnered with Refinery29 to open a holiday pop-up shop in New York City showcasing selection for the whole family.
  • Amazon Fashion continues to increase its assortment with the introduction of new brands, such as Tissot, Swatch, and Vineyard Vines, as well as the expansion of the Amazon brand, Goodthreads, which now offers women’s styles.
  • In 2019, authors earned more than $300 million from the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select Global Fund, totaling more than $1.1 billion since the launch of Kindle Unlimited. Millions of independent authors have self-published millions of books through KDP since launching the service in 2007. Additionally, thousands of independent authors earned more than $50,000, with more than a thousand surpassing $100,000 in royalties in 2019 through KDP.
  • Independent third-party sellers — mostly small and medium-sized businesses — sold more than a billion items during the holiday season, including more than 100 million items shipped with Prime Free One-Day Delivery. Amazon also announced nine winners of the Small Business Spotlight Awards in the U.K., Germany, and the U.S., including Small Business of the Year winners Gamely Games in the U.K., Snocks in Germany, and nutpods in the U.S.
  • Amazon was recognized by the Drucker Institute as the #1 Best-Managed Company of 2019, based on a study that measures corporate performance across customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation, social responsibility, and financial strength. Amazon received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index and the designation of being a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” Employers earning top ratings took steps to ensure greater equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) workers and their families in the form of comprehensive policies, benefits, and practices.
  • Amazon announced six new renewable energy projects across the U.S. and Europe that will support Amazon’s commitment to The Climate Pledge to be net zero carbon by 2040 and supply renewable energy for the company’s fulfillment network and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers. To date, Amazon has launched over 70 renewable energy projects that will provide over 1,900 MW of renewable capacity and are projected to deliver more than 5.3 million MWh of renewable energy annually.
  • This holiday season, Amazon surprised hundreds of charities across the U.S. by donating hundreds of thousands of items from their AmazonSmile Charity Lists, including more than 5,000 blankets, sheets, and pillows; more than 30,000 toys and educational items for kids; more than 40,000 apparel items; and more than 60,000 pantry items.
  • AWS announced several significant new customer commitments and migrations during the quarter spanning major industries, including finance with Western Union, FINRA CAT, LLC, a subsidiary of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), and Klarna, a leading global payments provider and bank; media with Fox Corporation, and ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, Europe’s leading satellite and cable broadcaster; sports with a new player health and safety initiative with the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks, Bundesliga, Germany’s premier football league, and Formula One Group; energy with BP; pharmaceuticals with Novartis; and hospitality with Best Western Hotels & Resorts, among others.
  • AWS announced three Arm-based instances (M6g, C6g, R6g) powered by AWS’s new Graviton2 processors, that deliver up to 40% better price and performance than current x86 processor-based instances. These new Arm-based instances are powered by the AWS Nitro System, a combination of dedicated hardware and lightweight hypervisor, enabling faster innovation and enhanced security for customers at a much lower cost.
  • AWS announced the general availability of AWS Outposts, a fully-managed service that extends AWS infrastructure and services to virtually any data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility. AWS Outposts offers customers the same AWS hardware infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools to build and run applications on premises and in the cloud for a truly consistent hybrid experience. AWS compute, storage, database, and other services run locally on Outposts, and customers can access the full range of AWS services available in the region to build, manage, and scale on-premises applications using familiar AWS services and tools.
  • AWS announced AWS Local Zones, a new type of AWS infrastructure deployment that places AWS compute, storage, database, and other select services closer to large population, industry, and IT centers where no AWS Region exists today. With the opening of the first AWS Local Zone in Los Angeles (LA), developers will have the ability to deploy applications that require single-digit millisecond latencies to end-users also in LA. AWS Local Zone customers will be able to use their compute, storage, database, and other select services locally in LA, while also being able to seamlessly connect back to the rest of their workloads running in the AWS U.S. West (Oregon) Region or other AWS Regions a customer may be using.
  • AWS announced AWS Wavelength, which enables developers to build applications that deliver single-digit millisecond latencies to mobile devices and users by deploying AWS compute and storage at the edge of the 5G network. With AWS Wavelength, developers can serve use cases that require ultra-low latency like machine learning inference at the edge, autonomous industrial equipment, smart cars and cities, Internet of Things (IoT), and Augmented and Virtual Reality. AWS is partnering with Verizon on making AWS Wavelength available across the U.S., and is collaborating with other leading telecommunications companies, including Vodafone and SK Telecom, to launch AWS Wavelength across Europe and South Korea in 2020, with more global partners coming soon.
  • AWS announced six new capabilities for Amazon SageMaker, a fully-managed service that removes the heavy lifting from each step of the machine learning process. Amazon SageMaker Studio is the first fully integrated development environment for machine learning that makes it easier for developers to build, debug, train, deploy, monitor, and operate custom machine learning models; Amazon SageMaker Notebooks allows developers to spin up elastic machine learning notebooks in seconds, and automates the process of sharing notebooks with a single-click; Amazon SageMaker Experiments helps developers visualize and compare machine learning model iterations, training parameters, and outcomes; Amazon SageMaker Autopilot allows developers to submit simple data in CSV files and have machine learning models automatically generated, with full visibility to how the models are created so developers can evolve them over time; Amazon SageMaker Debugger provides real-time monitoring for machine learning models to improve predictive accuracy, reduce training times, and facilitate greater explainability; and Amazon SageMaker Model Monitor detects concept drift to discover when the performance of a model running in production begins to deviate from the original trained model.
  • AWS announced five new artificial intelligence (AI) services designed to put machine learning in the hands of more developers — with no machine learning experience required. Amazon Kendra reinvents enterprise search by using natural language processing and other machine learning techniques to unite multiple data silos inside an enterprise and consistently provide high-quality results to common queries instead of a random list of links in response to keyword queries; Amazon CodeGuru helps software developers automate code reviews and identify an application’s most expensive lines of code; Amazon Fraud Detector helps businesses identify online identity and payment fraud in real time, based on the same technology developed for Amazon.com; Amazon Transcribe Medical offers healthcare providers highly accurate, real-time speech-to-text transcription so they can focus on patient care; and Amazon Augmented Artificial Intelligence (A2I) helps developers validate machine learning predictions through human confirmation.
  • AWS announced a set of machine learning-powered analytics capabilities for Amazon Connect called Contact Lens, which make it easier for businesses to identify customer issues and trends, search call and chat transcripts, and improve agent performance. Amazon Connect offers customers a fully-managed cloud contact center service. Now with Contact Lens, Amazon Connect customers have the ability to understand the sentiment, trends, and compliance of their own customer conversations to improve the experience and identify crucial feedback, with no machine learning experience required.
  • AWS announced significant new analytics capabilities in Redshift that provide an order of magnitude better query performance, deliver greater flexibility, and help customers embrace data at scale. Amazon Redshift RA3 instances allow customers to optimize their data warehouse by scaling and paying for compute and storage independently, so they can choose the number of instances they need based on their data warehousing workload’s performance requirements, and only pay for the managed storage that they use; AQUA (Advanced Query Accelerator) for Amazon Redshift is a new distributed and hardware-accelerated cache that brings compute to the storage layer, so data doesn’t have to move back and forth between the two, giving customers up to 10x better query performance than other cloud data warehouse provider; Amazon Redshift Data Lake Export allows customers to export data directly from Amazon Redshift to Amazon S3 in an open data format optimized for analytics; and Amazon Redshift Federated Query lets customers analyze data across their Amazon Redshift data warehouse, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) Data Lake, and Amazon RDS and Aurora databases.
  • AWS announced a new innovative highly-scalable, cost-saving warm storage tier for Amazon Elasticsearch Service called UltraWarm that makes it easier for customers to retain any amount of current and historical log data at up to one-tenth the current cost and is 80% less than the cost of warm-tier storage from other managed Elasticsearch offerings.
  • AWS announced Amazon Managed (Apache) Cassandra Service, a scalable, highly available, and fully-managed database service that supports Cassandra workloads. Developers can use the same Cassandra application code, Apache 2.0 licensed drivers, and tools as they do today to run, manage, and scale workloads on Amazon Managed Cassandra Service without having to worry about managing the underlying infrastructure. And, because it’s serverless, it also removes the need to provision, configure, and operate large Cassandra clusters, manually add or remove nodes, and rebalance partitions as traffic scales up or down.
  • AWS announced three new services and capabilities that make it easier for customers to build and operate securely. Amazon Detective analyzes trillions of data points, using machine learning, statistical analysis, and graph theory to make it easier to visualize and conduct faster and more efficient security investigations; AWS IAM Access Analyzer makes it simple for security teams and administrators to audit resource policies for unintended access by analyzing hundreds or even thousands of policies across a customer’s environment in seconds, and delivering detailed findings about resources that are accessible from outside the account; and AWS Nitro Enclaves is a new Amazon EC2 capability that makes it easy for customers in healthcare, financial services, energy, media and entertainment, and other data-intensive industries to process highly sensitive data, like personally identifiable information and intellectual property on their compute instances, particularly from internal threats within their own accounts.
  • AWS announced that customers can start using AWS Fargate for Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), making it easier for customers to run Kubernetes applications on AWS. AWS Fargate, which provides serverless computing for containers, has substantially changed the way developers manage and deploy their containers. Launched two years ago to work with Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), AWS Fargate has been broadly requested by Kubernetes customers. Now, with AWS Fargate for Amazon EKS, customers can run Kubernetes-based applications on AWS without the need to manage servers and clusters.
  • AWS announced three key initiatives as a part of its plans to help advance quantum computing technologies. Amazon Braket is a new, fully-managed AWS service that enables scientists, researchers, and developers to begin experimenting with computers from quantum hardware providers (including D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti) in a single place; AWS Center for Quantum Computing will bring together quantum computing experts from Amazon, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and other top academic research institutions to collaborate on the research and development of new quantum computing technologies; and the Amazon Quantum Solutions Lab connects customers with quantum computing experts from Amazon and its partners to develop internal expertise aimed at identifying practical uses of quantum computing, and accelerating the development of quantum applications with meaningful impact.

Financial Guidance

The following forward-looking statements reflect Amazon.com’s expectations as of January 30, 2020, and are subject to substantial uncertainty. Our results are inherently unpredictable and may be materially affected by many factors, such as fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, changes in global economic conditions and customer spending, world events, the rate of growth of the Internet, online commerce, and cloud services, and the various factors detailed below.

First Quarter 2020 Guidance

  • Net sales are expected to be between $69.0 billion and $73.0 billion, or to grow between 16% and 22% compared with first quarter 2019. This guidance anticipates a favorable impact of approximately 5 basis points from foreign exchange rates.
  • Operating income is expected to be between $3.0 billion and $4.2 billion, compared with $4.4 billion in first quarter 2019. This guidance includes approximately $800 millionlower depreciation expense due to an increase in the estimated useful life of our servers beginning on January 1, 2020.
  • This guidance assumes, among other things, that no additional business acquisitions, investments, restructurings, or legal settlements are concluded.

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