Escape velocity

Friday 27 July 2018


The latest quarterly results from Amazon were truly eye-catching with quarterly income of $2.5bn – more than double many analysts’ expectations. One wonderful quote from Macquarie summed up the results beautifully.

"What we’ve been waiting on for many years is finally happening, meaningful margin expansion. At scale, the highest-margin businesses (AWS, advertising, 3P) are simply growing so fast that AMZN is either not able or not willing to reinvest enough to offset the margin expansion, analyst Benjamin Schachter said. "This has been the bull thesis for years."

Such is the profit generation from AWS and the US Retail business ($3bn quarterly income between them) that the investments to drive global e-commerce growth and new sources of income are increasingly a rounding error.

For those operating in frontier markets that Amazon operates in this presents chilling news - the business could afford to have made a 15% loss on the entire International operation (outside of US) and would still have beaten earnings expectations.

This huge firepower allows the business to set its sights on further transformation of our markets and Alexa / voice is likely one of the critical drive areas.

With such capability and capacity to invest it will be exciting to see where the business turns next to try and manage the difficult challenge of spending all that money!

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