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Amazon's stock is skyrocketing after a blockbuster post-Whole Foods earnings

29 October 2017

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) shares soared to new record highs after reporting a third-quarter sales beat, where revenues were up 34 percent in the quarter.

Amazon acquired grocery store chain Whole Foods in August for just over $13.7 billion to help in delivering groceries to the doorstep of shoppers.

Shares of Amazon.com Inc., which are already up 30 percent this year, rose almost 8 percent to $1,046.22 in after-hours trading.

While Amazon is still worth less than giants like Apple and Alphabet, analysts have long expected it to top the psychologically meaningful number of $1,000 per share. Sales continued to surge for the e-commerce giant as it looked ahead to the holiday season. It posted a 41.9 per cent rise in sales to $4.58 billion, beating the average estimate of $4.52 billion, according to analytics firm FactSet.

AWS continues to help Amazon post profits, as the cloud computing arm generated $4.6 billion in net sales, up from $3.2 billion past year, and $1.2 billion in operating income, up from $861 million. After Amazon reported a massive increase in its "Prime Day" sales, the stock went over $1,000 in July.

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In Whole Foods' fourth quarter of 2016, which ended on September 25, it had $3.5 billion of sales. Amazon had almost 542,000 employees at the end of last month, about 160,000 more than it had the year before.

The company plans to spend more on video content next year as well, Olsavsky said.

Also thanks to the Whole Foods deal, Amazon's headcount is now at 541,900, up from 382,400 last quarter.

Prime Day, now in its third year, also helped boost performance during the quarter at home and internationally, Olsavsky said.

Looking forward, the company expects net sales in the fourth quarter to be between $56 billion and $60.5 billion, representing growth of between 28% and 38% compared compared to the same period past year.

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It will build a second headquarters somewhere in North America, and is sorting through 238 proposals from cities and regions that want to land the promised 50,000 new jobs and construction spending of more than $5 billion.

In addition, the company announced two key partnerships with rival Microsoft related to machine learning and voice technology.

It also brings the business model around Alexa skills a little closer to a mobile commerce type of model, where developers can charge extra for certain in-app products or features - in this case a subscription to additional content. Amazon has given other compensation over the a year ago to encourage Alexa skills development, though.

The company's earnings conference call with investors and analysts starts at 2:30 p.m.

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Amazon's stock is skyrocketing after a blockbuster post-Whole Foods earnings