Amazon’s surging revenue growth shows signs of slowing

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Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenue of close to $61.2 billion.

US -based e-commerce giant Amazon posted its Q4 2018 earnings on Thursday, revealing that the company's net sales totaled $72.4 billion United States dollars (roughly $90.07 billion CAD) for the quarter that ended on December 31st, 2018.

On a 30-minute earnings call with analysts, Bezos' planned split from wife MacKenzie never came up - despite brewing concerns over how the couple of 25 years might divide up their 16 percent stake in Amazon and whether Bezos' role in the company could change as a result. Net sales increased 31 percent to $232.9 billion, compared with $177.9 billion in 2017. In the third quarter, the company spooked investors by issuing Q4 revenue guidance in the range of $66.5 billion and $72.5 billion, well below the consensus estimate of $73.79 billion. At the beginning of past year, eMarketer predicted Amazon would only do $2.8 billion in ad sales.

Amazon shares were down roughly five per cent at $1,634 apiece in after-hours trading. On Thursday, Amazon reported that Amazon Web Services generated $7.4 billion in revenue, up 45 percent year over year.

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Last year, Amazon streamlined its ad products so they were less confusing to brands, and folded them under the Amazon Advertising moniker. The company has more than 100 million Prime members globally.

The company in October predicted weak revenue for the holiday quarter - its biggest quarter of the year - though Olsavsky at the time said he expected "a strong holiday season".

"Tens of millions" of customers worldwide started Prime free trials or began paid memberships during the holiday season.

Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Baird Equity Research, said, "The issues in India are taking a toll on the Q1 outlook, even as growth overall slows domestically". Amazon has been expanding grocery delivery from Whole Foods stores, and the service is now active in more than 60 US cities.

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After some fluctuation, shares of Amazon sold off after the report.

The rising shipping costs demonstrate the larger shift toward online shopping.

Annual net income increased to $10.1 billion United States dollars (roughly $13.26 billion CAD) in 2018, compared to $3.0 billion USD (roughly $3.94 billion CAD) in 2017. In December, Amazon said it broke new records for the holidays - an announcement it tends to make every year - but didn't offer much as far as details. The online retailer's brick-and-mortar strategy also includes bookstores and a cashierless convenience store called AmazonGo, which lets customers check in with a smartphone app and be charged automatically based on what they remove from the store. The success of Amazon has made Mr Bezos, 55, chief executive, the world's richest...

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