Business

Amazon set to report Q2 earnings


Andy Jassy, CEO Amazon Web Services, speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, October 25, 2016.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Amazon is set to announce its second-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday.

Here’s what Wall Street is expecting:

  • Earnings: $12.30 per share, according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $115.2 billion, according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv

Analysts are expecting sales to surge 29.6% year-over-year to $115.2 billion, marking three consecutive quarters with more than $100 billion in revenue. Amazon reported its first $100 billion quarter earlier this year.

This quarter, investors will be looking at Amazon’s third-quarter guidance to see whether it expects e-commerce momentum to slow as the economy continues to reopen and consumers spend more on travel and services. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce accounted for 14% of total retail sales in 2020, up from 11% the year before, which benefited a string of online retailers, including Amazon.

Despite these concerns, there are signs that e-commerce activity remains robust. Shopify, which makes tools for businesses to sell their products online, exceeded analysts’ expectations in its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday. The company cited “sustained momentum of digital commerce trends” in the first half of the year, along with U.S. stimulus checks in March and April, as catalysts behind the better-than-expected revenue.

Amazon’s second-quarter results will likely be helped by the Prime Day sales event, which was held from June 21-22. The company doesn’t release sales figures from the two-day discount event, but analysts estimated the results were either in line with their expectations or slightly softer than years’ past.

Amazon announced the second-largest acquisition in its history during the second quarter. In May, Amazon said it would acquire MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, giving it access to the Hollywood studio’s deep bench of films and TV shows, including the James Bond catalog. The proposed deal is under review by the Federal Trade Commission, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The other pillar of Amazon’s business, Amazon Web Services, is expected to have another solid quarter. AWS is projected to post $14.2 billion in revenue for the period, according to StreetAccount.

The quarter also reflects the last full quarter of Jeff Bezos’ tenure as CEO. On July 5, Bezos handed the role of CEO over to Andy Jassy, who previously led AWS. Bezos is now executive chairman. It’s unclear if Jassy will take part in Amazon’s post-earnings conference call Thursday evening. Bezos hasn’t participated in an earnings call since 2009.

Amazon shares are up about 11.5% since the start of the year. The S&P 500 index has increased roughly 18% during the same period.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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