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Amazon holiday quarter profit doubles

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Amazon announces profit doubled in most recent earnings./AFP
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Feb 04, 2022 - 12:56 AM

SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon on Thursday reported its profit doubled to $14 billion in the recently ended quarter, giving a boost to jittery markets that expected less due to higher labor, sourcing and delivery costs.

The e-commerce colossus said its net sales climbed to $137 billion, and its profit benefited greatly from a return on investment in electric vehicle maker Rivian, which went public in November.

Its shares were up some 14 percent in after-hours trading at 2130 GMT, drawing in investors eager for some good news after shares tanked in Facebook parent Meta.

Amazon has been particularly exposed to the pandemic-driven supply chain headaches, labor churn and inflation that have come to weigh on people’s lives and business’ ability to make money.

Google parent Alphabet and Apple have posted whopping profits this earnings season, although Facebook was battered by markets — losing some $200 billion in value — after disappointing results that cast doubts about its future.

Still, ahead of the results, analysts cautioned that they e-commerce giant is under threat on several fronts.

Headwinds 

“Amazon is facing more headwinds on Q4 performance than any time in recent memory,” said Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence.

He pointed to the comparison with the final quarter of 2020 when revenue blew past expectations, as well as e-commerce sales somewhat “underperforming.”

“Rising labor, supply chain and delivery costs will likely squeeze the bottom line,” he added.

Google’s parent firm Alphabet announced quarterly profits Tuesday that beat expectations and nearly doubled in 2021 — after a booming holiday season for the online ads giant facing anti-trust regulation scrutiny.

The Silicon Valley giant’s dominance online has powered it to new heights during the pandemic period, but has also left it in the sights of regulators around the world.

Apple reported record $124 billion quarterly revenue on Thursday, despite a global chip pinch and shifting impacts of the pandemic that have weighed down other big tech players.

The supply chain mess that has disrupted the making and delivery of products to consumers is not disappearing, but Apple said it expected less impact in the coming months.

Facebook’s parent firm Meta on Thursday plunged over $200 billion in stock value — comparable to the size of New Zealand’s economy — after weak results.

In addition to costs of big investments on its metaverse vision for the internet and trouble for its core ads business, the firm predicted slower growth and even reported its first dip in daily users globally on the signature Facebook platform.

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