Amazon Blows Past Q2 Profit Estimates, Says Workforce Now Tops 1 Million


Amazon delivered another quarter of stellar financial results as its digital business continues to thrive during COVID-19 despite logistical challenges posed by the pandemic.

Total revenue for the quarter ending June 30 was $88.9 billion, more than $7 billion more than Wall Street analysts’s consensus expectation. Earnings per diluted share were $10.30, nearly double the year-ago quarter and several times the outlook from the Street of $1.46.

CEO Jeff Bezos joined other tech leaders Wednesday in delivering testimony before members of Congress.

In prepared testimony that had to be cut for time, he disclosed that Amazon’s recent hiring spree during the pandemic has lifted its workforce past the 1 million mark. “Amazon directly employs a million people, many of them entry-level and paid by the hour,” he said. “We don’t just employ highly educated computer scientists and MBAs in Seattle and Silicon Valley. We hire and train hundreds of thousands of people in states across the country.”

As of March 31, the company said its official headcount was 840,400, up from 630,600 a year earlier.

In the earnings release, Bezos called it “another highly unusual quarter.” He said 175,000 workers joined the company during the quarter, with 125,000 of them in the process of attaining full-time status. A $4 billion investment in COVID-19-related spending on employee benefits and safety measures included a $500 million bonus for front-line workers and delivery personnel.

Investors boosted Amazon shares in after-hours trading on the earnings news. After closing Thursday at $3,051.88, the stock gained another 6% to pass $3,200. With the stock up more than 60% in 2020 to date, the company’s market value exceeds $1.5 trillion.

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