Amazon on Thursday surprised everyone with impressive revenues and profit that sent shares climbing in after-hours trading.
For the first quarter of 2016, Amazon generated revenues of $29.13 billion, an increase of 28 percent year-over-year. That surpassed industry expectations of $27.98 billion and even Amazon's own guidance of between $26.5 billion and $29 billion.
Amazon reported quarterly profit of $513 million, or $1.07 per share, compared to a year-ago loss of $57 million. Wall Street analysts were expecting profit of just $0.58 per share. Interestingly enough, that is even better than the $482 million Amazon took home in the always lucrative fourth quarter fueled by holiday spending.
As The Wall Street Journal highlights, Amazon's AWS cloud-computing business is largely responsible for its stellar quarter. The company continues to add Prime subscribers at $99 per year but is battling with shipping costs that were up by 42 percent year-over-year to $3.28 billion.
One way it's dealing with high shipping costs is by leasing cargo jets to help transport goods around the country more efficiently.
Looking ahead, Jeff Bezos and company are expecting sales between $28 billion and $30.5 billion for the second quarter which would represent growth of 21 percent to 32 percent versus the same period last year.
Amazon shares are up more than 12 percent in after-hours trading, currently valued at $678.00.
Image courtesy Jens Meyer, Associated Press