Amazon.com Inc. is anticipated to cap off a remarkable year of earnings growth with a spectacular performance in the holiday quarter, according to analysts’ forecasts.
The e-commerce giant is expected to report earnings of 80 cents per share for the December quarter, representing a staggering surge of over 2,500% compared to the 3 cents per share recorded in the same period the previous year. Quarterly operating income is projected to soar by 280% to reach $10.4 billion.
In terms of full-year earnings per share (EPS), the outlook is equally impressive, with an expected positive swing to $2.70, compared to a loss of 27 cents per share in 2022. The resurgence in earnings can be attributed in part to recent job cuts undertaken by Amazon, a trend observed among other major tech companies like Meta Platforms Inc. and Alphabet Inc.
Analysts note that Amazon’s recent layoffs reflect a strategic shift towards “Harvest Mode,” aimed at optimizing the company’s cost structure. The reduction in workforce is seen as a move to improve efficiency and streamline operations.
However, investors and analysts are also keenly watching for signs of sustained progress in profit-driving initiatives that promise long-term impact. Notably, Amazon’s efforts to enhance the efficiency of its retail fulfillment network have garnered positive attention from analysts, who foresee significant profit potential in this segment.
Analyst Mark Mahaney from Evercore ISI highlights Amazon’s strong support for margin expansion in its North America retail segment, driven by ongoing improvements in fulfillment and shipping operations. Similarly, BofA Securities analyst Justin Post anticipates a sequential contraction in retail margins for the fourth quarter but expects a year-over-year improvement.
Amazon’s advertising business is also poised to contribute to margin growth, particularly with the company’s increased focus on ads within its Prime Video service. Analysts see this as a pivotal aspect of Amazon’s profitability trajectory in 2024.
However, despite these positive indicators, the cloud computing segment remains a focal point for investors. Piper Sandler analyst Thomas Champion emphasizes that approximately 70% of investor inquiries revolve around Amazon Web Services (AWS) growth, highlighting its significance in determining the stock’s performance.
As Amazon prepares to announce its earnings report, investors await insights into these key factors that will shape the company’s financial outlook and market perception moving forward.