Amazon released its first quarter results, beating analysts revenue estimates while falling short of their earnings-per-share estimates.
Amazon has been at the center of the coronavirus pandemic, as the e-commerce giant has become a lifeline for many consumers sheltering in place. At the same time, Amazon has struggled to keep up with demand, initially hiring 100,000 extra warehouse workers, only to announce they would hire another 75,000 after that. The company also cut back fulfillment on non-essential items in an effort to keep up.
“From online shopping to AWS to Prime Video and Fire TV, the current crisis is demonstrating the adaptability and durability of Amazon’s business as never “before, but it’s also the hardest time we’ve ever faced,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.
With their earnings report, the dichotomy of Amazon’s position was made clear. The company reported $75.5 billion in revenue, up from analysts’ expectations of $73.61 billion. However, earnings-per-share were only $5.01, instead of the $6.25 analysts expected.
Even more significantly, the company expects to spend all of the operating profit it will earn next quarter in an effort to deal with the challenges it’s facing as a result of the pandemic.
“Under normal circumstances, in this coming Q2, we’d expect to make some $4 billion or more in operating profit,” Bezos continued. “But these aren’t normal circumstances. Instead, we expect to spend the entirety of that $4 billion, and perhaps a bit more, on COVID-related expenses getting products to customers and keeping employees safe. This includes investments in personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning of our facilities, less efficient process paths that better allow for effective social distancing, higher wages for hourly teams, and hundreds of millions to develop our own COVID-19 testing capabilities.”
Many tech companies have expressed concern about the next quarter, in spite of doing reasonably well this quarter, and it appears Amazon is no exception, despite how important it has become during these times.