Amazon beats Q4 sales expectations but cloud revenue misses

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Amazon beats Q4 sales expectations but cloud revenue misses
Credit: © Reuters.

By Liz Moyer -- Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN ) beat revenue expectations for the fourth quarter but revenue from its cloud business, Amazon Web Services, was slightly weaker than expected. 

Shares of the e-commerce giant fell 6% in after-hours trading. 

Revenue of $149.2 billion was 8.5% higher than the fourth quarter of 2021 and higher than the $145.7B expected by analysts. Revenue from AWS was $21.4B, up 20% from the year-earlier quarter but slightly less than the $21.9B expected.

“Our relentless focus on providing the broadest selection, exceptional value, and fast delivery drove customer demand in our Stores business during the fourth quarter that exceeded our expectations—and we’re appreciative of all our customers who turned to Amazon this past holiday season,” said Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO, in a statement.

Jassy said the company faced an uncertain economy in the short term. 

For the first quarter 2023, Amazon said net sales are expected to be between $121B and $126B, or to grow between 4% and 8% compared with the first quarter 2022. Analysts had projected first-quarter sales of $125B.

Amazon also forecast first-quarter operating income to be between $0 and $4.0B, compared with $3.7B in the first quarter 2022.

Amazon highlighted its 2022 holiday season, when customers bought nearly half a billion items from small businesses in the U.S. It said during its biggest Thanksgiving-through-Cyber-Monday holiday shopping weekend ever, small businesses in the U.S. generated more than $1B in sales.

The company reported fourth-quarter earnings per share of 3 cents. Analysts had forecast adjusted earnings per share of 17 cents. 

For the full year, Amazon said net sales increased 9%, to $514.0B in 2022.

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