Amazon saw second-quarter net sales of $113 billion, up 27% but below expectations, dinging the shares, which fell more than 7% in late trading.
Consumers still shopped a lot on Amazon but growth was tempered as the world reopened — compared with the year-ago quarter when the global pandemic was at its height.
Net profit came in at a strong $7.8 billion, or $15.12 a share — up from $5.2 billion or $10.30.
Subscriptions services, which includes annual and monthly fees associated with Amazon Prime memberships, as well as digital video, audiobook, digital music, e-book, and other non-AWS subscription services, grew revenue by 32% to $7.9 billion. Prime, which offers members unlimited fast delivery and access to Amazon Prime streaming, is now available in 22 countries with the latest addition of Portugal. CFO Brian Olsavsky said on a call with analysts that video “is good for the Prime program” and Amazon is investing in rolling out the Prime-member benefit across international markets.
Wearing another hat, cloud computing division Amazon Web Services (AWS) works with Prime Video rivals like Disney+ and Netflix, along with a range of other customers, to help them scale up their business.
The company’s “other” segment, which primarily includes sales of advertising services, surged 83%, in line with strong digital advertising trends seen in this earnings round at Snap, Twitter, Google and others.
The earnings report follows CEO Andy Jassy taking the helm of the e-commerce giant on July 5 as founder Jeff Bezos stepped into the role of executive chairman. Jassy was not on the call, following in the tradition of Bezos who usually wasn’t either. Asked about the transition, Olsavsky said, “We had a good handoff” and noted, “Jeff is not leaving, He will continue to be very involved.” Jassy, who built up AWS, will bring his “unique brand of positive attitude and optimism” to the broader company.
The report also follows the company’s announcement of a deal to buy MGM for $8.45 billion to bolster its video offering and expand Amazon Prime. The FTC, with a renewed focus on antitrust, is scrutinizing the agreement closely. The company has called for FTC chief Lina Khan, who has written in the past on Amazon’s “antitrust conundrum,” to recuse herself from the review.
Bezos lauded MGM’s content library and IP when the deal was announced in last May. There was no mention of it today in Amazon’s earnings press release (documents that are famously long and crowded with haphazard information). MGM didn’t come up on the call.
The Commission is also probing Amazon for its alleged use of third-party seller data to develop its own Amazon-branded goods to compete with them.
Some entertainment highlights touched on in the earnings report:
-Prime Video released new Amazon Original movies for customers worldwide, including Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, starring Michael B. Jordan, and The Tomorrow War, starring Chris Pratt, both of which were the No. 1 streamed movie on their opening weekends. Prime members also enjoyed new and returning Amazon Original series and specials such as THEM, Solos, The Underground Railroad, Panic, Flack, Mary J. Blige’s My Life, and the Prime Day Show, as well as the seventh and final season of Bosch, the longest-running Amazon Original series to date. Additionally, Prime Video debuted over 20 local originals internationally, including Dom (Brazil), Chivas: El Rebaño Sagrado (Mexico), Clarkson’s Farm (UK), La Leyenda de Sergio Ramos (Spain), Mixte (France), and Head Above Water (Australia).
-Amazon earned 20 Emmy Award nominations, including Amazon Studios’ first-ever category nominations for a drama series (The Boys) and limited series (The Underground Railroad). Amazon also received two nominations in the TV movie category (Uncle Frank and Sylvie’s Love), along with nominations for writing (All In), choreography (Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2), cinematography (Small Axe), visual effects (Vikings), interactive program (Welcome to the Blumhouse), and commercial (Michael B. Jordan’s Alexa ad).
-Prime Video announced streaming deals with sports leagues around the world, including: the National Football League (NFL) Thursday Night Football beginning in 2022, a year earlier than previously announced; 16 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) games per season and the Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game; the Premier League in the UK; the Premiere channel to watch soccer in Brazil; and 300+ Ligue 1 soccer matches per season in France. Prime Video also streamed the first-ever French Open night matches and the Australian Swimming Trials globally.
-Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, is now available on Fire TV and Fire tablet devices. Customers can use Alexa to start watching Peacock by saying “Alexa, open Peacock.”
-Prime Video and IMDb TV announced an exclusive, multi-year licensing deal with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG). Beginning in 2022, Prime Video will be an exclusive subscription video partner for UFEG’s slate of live-action films in the U.S., bringing films such as Jurassic World: Dominion, The 355, and Ambulance to Prime Video soon after theatrical release. With this deal, IMDb TV will be the first advertising-based streaming service to secure a major studio network window, which traditionally goes to broadcast or cable networks.
-IMDb TV announced 12 original series and development projects including a new half-hour drama from Dick Wolf, a home renovation project with Jeff Lewis, a docu-series with country superstar Luke Bryan, and a dramedy from Clea DuVall and Tegan and Sara Quin.
Commenting in the earnings release on the impact of Covid on the company, Jassy noted that, “Over the past 18 months, our consumer business has been called on to deliver an unprecedented number of items, including PPE, food, and other products that helped communities around the world cope with the difficult circumstances of the pandemic.”
“At the same time, AWS has helped so many businesses and governments maintain business continuity, and we’ve seen AWS growth reaccelerate as more companies bring forward plans to transform their businesses and move to the cloud,” said Jassy.
“Thank you to all of our passionate, innovative, mission-driven employees around the world for continuing to stay focused on delivering for customers—I am very excited to work with you as we invent and build for the future.”
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