UPDATE with after-hours stock price: Amazon today reported third-quarter earnings that smoked Wall Street estimates, with a 23% year-over-year rise in net sales to $25.4 billion, leading the stock to jump 8-plus points in late-afternoon trading and soar more than 10% after hours.
If the pattern holds tomorrow, then Amazon shares will pass the previous all time high set in July of $580.57 and trade well above $600.
The e-tailer reported net income of $79M in the quarter, or earnings per share of +17 cents. Consensus estimates expected a loss of 13 cents a share. Its $25.36B in revenue topped estimates of $24.91B.
CEO and founder Jeff Bezos in the earnings release touted the impact of the $50 Kindle Fire tablet, which was announced in the quarter. The company also highlighted Amazon Studios’ five Emmy wins for Transparent and its growing original programming slate that included the debuts of Red Oaks, Hand Of God, Wishenpoof and The Man In The High Castle. Transparent‘s Season 2 starts streaming December 4.
Amazon Studios already has announced 12 pilots slated to debut later this year. On the after-earnings call with analysts, CFO Brian Olsavsky said Man In the High Castle was Amazon’s most-watched pilot, though he did not give specifics.
Questions on the programming front that did not emerge in the after-earnings call included whether the company has plans to make Amazon Prime a stand-alone subscription service like Netflix and Hulu. The programming rivals that as of Wednesday also includes YouTube Red are ramping up costs to compete, with Amazon estimated to be spending more than $3B this year on original and exclusive video programming as well as Prime Music.
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