Amazon's quarterly profits approach $2bn for first time

Amazon's quarterly profits approach $2bn for first time”

Weather-related issues may also be a factor, he said. All told, Amazon has 566,000 employees.

"Our projections for Alexa were very optimistic and we far exceeded them", the CEO said in a statement.

The Alexa Skills store now offers more than 30,000 skills, including new developer tools for Alexa Gadgets and gaming experiences, such as Activision's new Ghost skill for console game Destiny 2.

Alexa device sales are booming, Amazon said on a conference call with investors. In a January 26 research note, Morgan Stanley analysts noted in their risks to the Amazon bull case that "price wars" with competitors "may lead Amazon to cut AWS prices further while incremental AWS investment offsets cuts elsewhere".

The Amazon Prime free shipping and streaming video program saw more than 5 billion items shipped in 2017. The Echo Dot, alongside the company's Fire TV Stick, were the best-selling products of the year across Amazon.

"Amazon is the pipe and they're collecting commissions on all that volume", he said.

Loss from the worldwide business widened to $3 billion in 2017 from $1.3 billion the previous year, the company said in a statement. The fourth quarter 2017 includes a provisional tax benefit for the impact of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 of approximately $789 million.

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Shares jumped 6.3% in after-hours trading, which bodes well for the stock's performance on Friday.

Amazon is aggressively expanding and taking on new frontiers.

The opening of Amazon Go, a "shopping experience" that replaces traditional check-out methods with computer vision, machine learning and sensor fusion.

Once again, AWS, the cloud unit of Amazon, helped the tech giant bolster its revenue and profit. In 2017, the company launched two furniture brands called Rivet and Stone & Beam, according to the quarterly report. Amazon has previously said its Prime subscribers are its "most important customer base" and with growth like this, it is a trend that looks set to continue.

Earlier this week, Amazon revealed it's eyeing another industry: health care. His latest target is tackling rising health-care costs, which he intends to do in partnership with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The three companies unveiled a yet-to-be-named company to give their USA workers and families a better health insurance option. That isn't necessarily the same thing as maximizing cash flows, judging by the company's tendency to grow its operating cash profits while accelerating its capital spending even faster.

Not settling for being stationed in just one major city, Amazon is also embarking on a public dating game with 20 other North American cities to find a suitable location for its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2.

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