Amazon’s surging revenue growth shows signs of slowing

Amazon wage hike pays off as it reveals record profits

'Alexa was very busy': Amazon reports record profits and strong holiday season

Worldwide revenue came in a touch above expectations, too.

Shares in the online giant fell nearly 5% in after-hours trading despite it reporting record sales and profit for the Christmas holiday period. The forecast was on the low end of analyst expectations' of about $61 billion.

He noted that Amazon has been gaining in the digital ad market as a result of its large customer base, developing a new revenue stream and taking away some market share from the leaders, Google and Facebook.

In the third quarter, Amazon pulled in US$2.9 billion in quarterly profit, with sales that climbed almost 30 per cent to US$56.6 billion. Sales for the full year grew 31 percent to $232.9 billion.

Last year, Amazon streamlined its ad products so they were less confusing to brands, and folded them under the Amazon Advertising moniker.

While this was better than analysts had expected, it was still the slowest sales growth for the firm since the start of 2015. "In 2018, we improved Alexa's ability to understand requests and answer questions by more than 20% through advances in machine learning, we added billions of facts making Alexa more knowledgeable than ever, developers doubled the number of Alexa skills to over 80,000, and customers spoke to Alexa tens of billions more times in 2018 compared to 2017". Amazon projected first-quarter growth to hit between 10 and 18 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

Amazon's "other" business segment - consisting mainly of its fast-growing advertising business - generated almost $3.8 billion in sales in the quarter, up 97 percent.

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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. Amazon owns the world's largest ecommerce business and in Amazon Web Services, the world's biggest cloud computing business. For the year, Amazon posted a net income of $10.1 billion, up from $3 billion the prior year. Although its operating loss shrunk to US$642-million from US$919-million in the quarter, rules in India created concern.

Shares of Amazon were moving back and forth in after-hours trading.

FBN's Deirdre Bolton reports on Amazon's fourth-quarter earnings.

"That number will move around", Olsavsky said on the earnings call. Sales in physical stores, which are predominantly Whole Foods locations, decreased 2.7 percent to $4.4 billion.

The fourth quarter offered investors the first glimpse of year-over-year results since Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market in 2017.

Amazon has historically delivered relatively little profit as it fulfills Bezos's strategy of investing to stay ahead. Building warehouses and data centers around the world, inventing new devices and automating tasks usually done by humans are just some of the places Amazon spends its money.

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