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   Technology, Inc. (AMZN)

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (163889)10/24/2019 7:43:44 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 164249
Amazon clobbered after a miss on the bottom line and soft guidance

Published 4 hours agoUpdated Moments Ago
Eugene Kim @eugenekim222

Key Points

    • Amazon’s third-quarter earnings fell short of street expectations, driving its stock down as much as 9% in after hours trading.
    • The company is spending billions of dollars to expand its free one-day delivery program.
    • Amazon gave fourth-quarter revenue guidance in the range of $80.0 billion and $86.5 billion, far below the street’s average estimate of $87.4 billion, indicating the all-important holiday shopping season may be underwhelming

Amazon’s third-quarter earnings fell short of street expectations on Thursday, driving its stock down as much as 9% in after hours trading.

It also gave dismal revenue guidance for the holiday shopping season, spooking investors who were expecting a huge pay off from Amazon’s growing investments across the company.

Here’s what the company reported versus analyst expectations:

    • EPS: $4.23 vs. $4.62, according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $70 billion vs. $68.8 billion, according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv
  • AWS: $9 billion vs. $9.1 billion, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet
Revenue grew 24% to $70 billion for the quarter, showing the heavy investment in free one-day shipping is leading to more purchases. Amazon spent over $800 million in each of the last two quarters to expand its free one-day delivery program to more products and regions, and said it is expecting to spend another $1.5 billion in the initiative during the fourth quarter to expand its warehouse footprint and product selection. It also pointed to increased spending on the growing cloud business and bolstering its advertising sales force.

“Customers are buying more often and they’re buying more products,” Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said during a call with reporters.

However, Amazon’s fourth-quarter revenue guidance came in between $80.0 billion to $86.5 billion, far below the street’s average estimate of $87.4 billion, indicating the all-important holiday shopping season may be underwhelming.

The return to a heavy investment cycle is cutting into Amazon’s profitability. Its net income dropped to $2.1 billion, down 26% from the year-ago period’s $2.9 billion. For the fourth quarter, Amazon is forecasting operating income to fall between $1.2 billion and $2.9 billion, also below the $4.2 billion street estimate.

Amazon’s cloud business, meanwhile, had $9 billion in quarterly sales, falling slightly below analyst expectations of $9.1 billion. AWS operating income totaled $2.26 billion, up 9% from the year-ago period but below the $2.55 billion FactSet consensus estimate. For the past four years, AWS has provided the bulk of Amazon’s operating income, so slowing growth could be a drag on earnings going forward. The 35% revenue growth rate was the slowest since AWS started disclosing that number in 2015.

In a prepared statement, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos highlighted the company’s free one-day delivery initiative, saying it’s leading to higher customer satisfaction.

“Customers love the transition of Prime from two days to one day — they’ve already ordered billions of items with free one-day delivery this year. It’s a big investment, and it’s the right long-term decision for customers,” Bezos said.

Amazon’s stock was up 18% this year, slightly below the 20% gain for the S&P500.

Third quarter results include sales from Prime Day, which the company called its biggest shopping event in history. Amazon previously said Prime Day sales surpassed those of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, with more than 175 million items sold over the 48-hour event.

Amazon, however, didn’t provide any additional commentary around the regulatory environment, which has become a hot-button issue lately as politicians from both sides of the aisle have called for heavier scrutiny of the company’s business practices.

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To: rogermci® who wrote (163888)10/24/2019 11:30:53 PM
From: Rarebird
1 Recommendation   of 164249
Your friend is not the only one. I just bought a 5.25 item for my dog, which was delivered the next day free. I do that often.

But I also give Amazon nice orders too sometimes. Plus, I am an avid reader and only use Kindle. I gave up on paper and file cabinets years ago. Just about everything is digital and electronic.

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From: Sr K10/25/2019 4:26:56 PM
   of 164249
After yesterday's Q3 report, the change, low, high, close, and volume were:

-1.09% change
$1695.00 low
$1764.21 high
$1761.33 close
Volume 9,552,270

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From: Glenn Petersen10/25/2019 9:54:56 PM
1 Recommendation   of 164249
Microsoft snags hotly contested $10 billion defense contract, beating out Amazon

Published 3 hours agoUpdated 37 min ago
Jordan Novet @jordannovet
  • The JEDI contract is worth up to $10 billion over 10 years.
  • IBM and Oracle are among the companies that also sought the contract but ended up getting ruled out.
  • Amazon has been a repeated target for President Trump, who announced in July that
Microsoft has emerged victorious in a dramatic competition for public cloud resources for the U.S. Defense Department, beating out market leader Amazon Web Services, the Pentagon said on Friday. The contract could be worth as much as $10 billion over a decade, according to a statement.

Microsoft stock rose as much as 3% in extended trading after the announcement, and Amazon stock dipped less than 1%.

The achievement highlights the emergence of Microsoft's Azure cloud as a challenger to AWS and represents the latest victory for Satya Nadella, who took over from Steve Ballmer as Microsoft chief in 2014. Microsoft has also won major cloud-infrastructure deals from companies like Walmart even as AWS has kept growing.

If the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure deal, known by the acronym JEDI, ends up being worth $10 billion, it would likely be a bigger deal to Microsoft than it would have been to Amazon. Microsoft does not disclose Azure revenue in dollar figures but it's widely believed to have a smaller share of the market than Amazon, which received $9 billion in revenue from AWS in the third quarter.

Early in the process Amazon was seen as the favorite, partly because its AWS business won a deal with the CIA in 2013. Also Amazon had been certified at the highest existing security clearance level, while Microsoft sought to catch up.

Other, smaller cloud rivals like IBM and Oracle were kicked out earlier in the process, which has been contentious and delayed.

In July, President Trump said he was looking at the contract after companies had protested the the bidding process.

While Trump didn't cite Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos by name at the time, the billionaire executive has been a constant source of frustration for the president. Bezos owns The Washington Post, which Trump regularly criticizes for its coverage of his administration. Trump also has gone after Amazon repeatedly on other fronts, such as claiming it does not pay its fair share of taxes and rips off the U.S. Post Office.

In August, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that he would look at it. Then, earlier this week, the Pentagon said that Esper had removed himself from the process because his son Luke Esper works at IBM.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called the deal a "game changer" for Microsoft, writing in a note to clients that the deal "will have a ripple effect for the company's cloud business for years to come." He also said that he expects Amazon to challenge the outcome in court, but for Microsoft to prevail.

Nadella once ran the Azure business, among other responsibilities in his 27-year career at Microsoft. He has made cloud a bigger piece of Microsoft while decreasing the emphasis on Windows. The company has also embraced Linux, and after Nadella joined, the cloud was renamed from Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure, reflecting that it's possible to run Linux in Microsoft's public cloud.

"We're surprised about this conclusion," an AWS spokesperson told CNBC in an email. "AWS is the clear leader in cloud computing, and a detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings clearly lead to a different conclusion. We remain deeply committed to continuing to innovate for the new digital battlefield where security, efficiency, resiliency, and scalability of resources can be the difference between success and failure."

Microsoft didn't immediately return a request for comment.

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From: ig10/26/2019 9:38:44 AM
1 Recommendation   of 164249
Amazon ad on Twitter.

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From: J.F. Sebastian10/27/2019 7:56:13 AM
   of 164249
Somewhat related to Amazon:

The FTC Fosters Fake Reviews, Its Own Commissioners Say

A leaked email revealed that executives at a skin-care firm showed employees how to post fake reviews. But the FTC settled without a fine or admission of guilt.

Like much of the internet, online reviews are often fake. No matter the platform—Amazon, TripAdvisor, Yelp, or another—no matter the subject, where user reviews are public, fakery usually follows.

The practice has surged in popularity in recent years as retailers scramble to capitalize on consumers’ love of ecommerce. Saoud Khalifah, CEO of the fraudulent-review tracking company FakeSpot, says the number of companies padding their online ratings using reviews generated by bots, ghostwriters, or other schemes has increased dramatically over the past four years.

“When I started [looking into] this in 2015, it wasn’t as big as it is today,” said Khalifah. “Today, it has reached epidemic proportions—whether you’re looking at Sephora, Walmart, Amazon—it’s like a plague right now.”

Commissioners Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter of the Federal Trade Commission say it’s about to get a lot worse, and they know who to blame: their own agency. The FTC this week brought its first case against a company for enlisting its employees in a coordinated fake-review campaign to boost sales. Chopra and Slaughter say the decision reached by their fellow commissioners could usher in even more review fraud. The settlement did not require the company to admit fault, notify customers of the fraud, or turn over any ill-gotten gains.

“Dishonest firms may come to conclude that posting fake reviews is a viable strategy, given the proposed outcome here,” Chopra said in a statementdissenting from the FTC’s decision, joined by Slaughter. “Honest firms, who are the biggest victims of this fraud, may be wondering if they are losing out by following the law. Consumers may come to lack confidence that reviews are truthful.”

A Fraught Fraud Case

The case in question concerns skin-care brand Sunday Riley, which on Monday agreed to settle FTC charges that it posted faked reviews for its products on Sephora’s website for nearly two years. The FTC has the power to punish companies for engaging in online review fraud, through fines, forfeitures, or notices, among other things. But the Sunday Riley decision amounted to little more than finger wagging, Chopra and Slaughter say.

The dissenting commissioners say the agency’s investigation uncovered more than enough evidence to prove that Sunday Riley had engaged in online review fraud—including an Instagram comment posted by a brand representative that confirmed the company had posted fake reviews. But the FTC voted 3–2 to allow Sunday Riley to settle the charges by agreeing not to post future fake reviews, without admitting fault.

More at:

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From: Julius Wong10/27/2019 8:54:37 AM
   of 164249
Amazon Web Services is 'evaluating options' after Microsoft wins $10 billion JEDI contract out from under its nose

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To: Julius Wong who wrote (163896)10/27/2019 11:48:56 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 164249
The playing field may not have been level:

Trump allegedly told former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that he wanted to "screw" Amazon by denying them the contract, according to a book by former Mattis aide Guy Snodgrass that is set to be released next week.

It will be interesting to see if there is any blowback.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (163897)10/27/2019 3:18:47 PM
From: clochard
   of 164249
The government should award contracts to all the main players to promote competition and have alternatives in case one of them gets hacked.

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From: Julius Wong10/28/2019 8:21:07 AM
   of 164249
Analyst Ratings & Price Targets on Amazon

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