Amazon net sales increased 20 percent to $72.4 billion in Q4 2018

Amazon posted earnings per share of $6.04 on net income of $3 billion, surpassing a projected $5.68 per share.

Amazon stock fell nearly 50 points from its closing price of $1,718 on fears of reduced margins from sales in India and increased shipping costs in the US.

Brian Olsavsky, Amazon's chief financial officer, said on a call with reporters that the "situation in India is a bit fluid right now". "Retail sales were certainly strong".

Sales will be $56 billion to $60 billion in the current period, the company said Thursday, compared with analysts' average estimate of $61 billion.

"We are plugging into Amazon the same way we do for everyone: Facebook, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat", says Alex Collmer, CEO of VidMob. Global revenue came in a touch above expectations, too.

Analyst Patrick Moorhead, founder of Moor Insights & Strategy, said in a statement that he attributes AWS's growth rate to "its increased flexibility through "elastic" capabilities as well as increased variability across EC compute capabilities". This time that didn't happen.

Of the company's total sales for Q4 2018, Amazon's online stores division brought in $39.822 billion United States dollars (roughly $52.28 billion CAD).

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As for hard numbers, that's about it. Both are double-digit improvements over the previous year.

This expansive customer base has lured merchants to sell goods on the company's marketplace, to the point where more than half of products sold on Amazon come from third-parties.

Chief executive Jeff Bezos highlighted the role of Amazon's digital assistant Alexa as the company moves into infusing artificial intelligence into its smart speakers and other devices in a race for dominance in the "internet of things" market. But so far that hasn't appeared to happen.

Amazon's "other" business segment - consisting mainly of its fast-growing advertising business - generated almost $3.8 billion in sales in the quarter, up 97 percent. With Amazon controlling 50 percent of e-commerce purchases in the U.S., more sellers have an incentive to fork over money for these ads. "In 2018, we improved Alexa's ability to understand requests and answer questions by more than 20% through advances in machine learning, we added billions of facts making Alexa more knowledgeable than ever, developers doubled the number of Alexa skills to over 80,000, and customers spoke to Alexa tens of billions more times in 2018 compared to 2017". "India remains a good long-term opportunity", he said.

The advertising business posted $3.4 billion in revenue, almost double from a year earlier.

Amazon Web Services, which includes the company's cloud computing platform, generated quarterly revenue of $7.4 billion, up from $5.1 billion in the same period one year ago.

While its growth may be slowing, Amazon's profits and profitability are mounting. Sales in physical stores, which are predominantly Whole Foods locations, decreased 2.7 percent to $4.4 billion.

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