Amazon Shares Fall After Q3 Losses Exceed Expectations

UPDATE, 2:41 PM: Amazon’s results include a $170 million charge mostly due to the anemic sales of its Amazon Fire phone, CFO Thomas Szkutak told analysts after the company’s Q3 earnings release. He also says that the e-retailer suffered from a shift, especially in textbooks, to rentals from purchases. On original content, the CFO says that Amazon spent $100M in Q3 and is upbeat about Transparent. “We’re still certainly in investment mode there but we like what we see and we have a long way to go.”

PREVIOUS, 1:04 PM: The stock price is down more than 10% in post-market trading shortly after the company released its Q3 report. Amazon said that it lost $437 million, down from a $41 million loss in the period last year, on revenues of $20.58 billion, +20.4%. Analysts expected revenues to come in slightly higher, at $20.84 billion. But the big chill comes from a loss of 95 cents per share, which was far worse than the 74 cent loss the Street anticipated. Amazon says that it expects net sales in Q4 to grow as much as 18% to $30.3 billion, although operations could end up anywhere between a $570 million loss to a $430 million gain — both down from $510 million profit the company saw last year.

CEO Jeff Bezos sidesteps the financials in his comment, saying that Amazon is “focused on making the customer experience easier and more stress-free than ever.”

Media sales for North America increased 5% to $2.73 billion. Electronics and general merchandise domestic sales rose 30.6% to $8.79 billion. But Amazon’s expenses also rose with fulfillment costs up 29.9%, marketing up 43.1%, and technology and content costs up 39.7%.

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