Amazon Misses on Q2 Revenue, Profit Jumps 50% to Beat Earnings Estimate

·4 min read

Amazon grew total sales in the second quarter of 2021 by 27% to $113.1 billion — a record for Q2 — but that was lighter than investors had expected, given in part that the Prime Day shopping promo occurred in the period.

The gigantic ecommerce company turned in another strong performance on the bottom line: Amazon reported net income of $7.8 billion in Q2, or $15.12 per diluted share. That’s up about 50% from $5.2 billion in the year-earlier period.

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Wall Street analysts were expecting revenue of $115.07 billion and EPS of $12.22.

Amazon said it expects sales growth to be slower in Q3 than in the current quarter, as the company battles the laws of large numbers and the surge of online orders a year ago because of the pandemic. For the third quarter, Amazon expects net sales of $106 billion-$112 billion, representing 10%-16% growth compared with the third quarter of 2020.

Shares of Amazon were down 7% in after-hours trading on the Q2 revenue miss and Q3 guidance.

One of the highlights for the company’s second quarter: Its “other” segment — which primarily comprises sales of advertising services — grew a whopping 87%, to $7.91 billion. Amazon’s subscription services revenue hit $7.92, up 32%, a category that includes Prime membership fees along with digital video, audiobook, music and e-book services.

Amazon in May announced a $8.45 billion bid for MGM, driven the ecommerce giant’s a desire to obtain the studio’s intellectual property and create new offshoots based on it. The proposed deal is pending regulatory approval.

On July 5, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos stepped aside as CEO, turning over the reins to Andy Jassy, previously CEO of the fast-growing Amazon Web Services (AWS) division.

In his first note to Amazon investors as CEO, Jassy noted that the COVID pandemic over the past 18 months has required the company’s consumer business “to deliver an unprecedented number of items, including PPE, food, and other products that helped communities around the world cope with the difficult circumstances of the pandemic.” He also gave a shout-out to AWS as having “helped so many businesses and governments maintain business continuity, and we’ve seen AWS growth reaccelerate as more companies bring forward plans to transform their businesses and move to the cloud.”

Meanwhile, last week Bezos, who remains Amazon executive chairman, flew into space as a billionaire space-tourist on a rocket built by his Blue Origin aerospace company.

Underscoring Amazon’s unprecedented growth in the past year — off an already massive business — the company said it had 1.335 million employees at the end of June, up 52% year over year.

Among the bullet points for Amazon’s recently created global entertainment division, led by returning company veteran Jeff Blackburn, the company called out Amazon original movies “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” starring Michael B. Jordan and “The Tomorrow War” starring Chris Pratt, both of which were “the No. 1 streamed movie on their opening weekends” on Prime Video.

The company touted Amazon Studios’ 20 Emmy Awards nominations, including its first category nominations for drama series for “The Boys” and limited series for “The Underground Railroad.”

In addition, Prime Video announced streaming deals with sports leagues including the NFL for exclusive U.S. rights to “Thursday Night Football” beginning in 2022 through 2032, as well as 16 WNBA games per season and the Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game; rights to Premier League matches in the U.K.; and more than 300 Ligue 1 soccer matches per season in France.

Earlier this month, Prime Video and IMDb TV announced an exclusive, multiyear licensing deal with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Under the pact, starting in 2022, Prime Video will have exclusive pay-one window subscription streaming rights to Universal’s slate of live-action films in the U.S., covering such titles as “Jurassic World: Dominion,” “The 355” and “Ambulance.” IMDb TV, Amazon’s free, ad-supported streaming service, also will get TV-window rights, making it the first AVOD service to have that kind of early access to a major studio’s films.

This spring, IMDb TV announced 12 original series and development projects including a new half-hour drama from Dick Wolf, a home renovation project with Jeff Lewis, a docu-series with country star Luke Bryan, and dramedy “High School” from Clea DuVall and sisters Tegan and Sara Quin.

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