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Amazon (AMZN) Crushes Q1 Earnings, Stock Soars 11%


After the closing bell, Amazon.com (AMZN) reported Q1 earnings and really blew away expectations: earnings per share of $1.01 simply trounced the expected 61 cents, and sales of $29.13 billion topped the Zacks consensus estimate by a cool $1 billion. As a result, we see AMZN shares soaring immediately in late trading, up 11 percent and effectively bringing Amazon back to positive, year to date.

Operating income was miles ahead of the top of the company's guidance range ($700 million) by bringing in $1.1 billion for the first 3 months of the year. Revenues came in just north of Amazon's top guidance range of $29 billion. Guidance for Q2 revenues also increased to a range of $28 - 30.5 billion for next quarter.

Aside from last quarter's earnings miss for Amazon, the prior 3 quarters posted big positive surprises as well, averaging 116.6 percent. Amazon's Q1 earnings didn't quite match that, but an upside surprise of 75 percent is certainly admirable. And while Amazon's AWS cloud-based business was predictably solid and growing, with net sales of $2.6 billion in the quarter and also better than expected, it is the businesses outside AWS that have delivered remarkably well this quarter.

Thus, Amazon's quarter more resembles Facebook's (FB) blowout performance from yesterday than it does Alphabet's (GOOGL) disappointing one from a week ago. With a total VGM style score of A ahead of the earnings report (Value: C, Growth: A, Momentum: A), the stock's vigorous move up double-digits in late Thursday trading won't be working any miracles in the Value category. That said, like Facebook, we are looking at a company that is (so far) at the absolute height of its powers right now.

After many quarters of investing in more and more fulfillment centers and cloud-based infrastructure, the chickens have come home to roost for Amazon in a big, positive way. It just goes to show what some extensive focus on operating margins can do for a company's earnings sheet.
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