Amazon provides record results, but weak sales outlook

Amazon delivered record results and better than expected revenues in the fourth quarter, arising from strong holiday sales and high margin business growth.

But the shares fell more than 2 percent in the after-sales in New York as the online retailer issued sales guidance for the first quarter that came under analysts' estimates.

Net income increased by 63 percent to $ 3 billion, or $ 6.04 per share, from $ 1.86 billion, or $ 3.75 per share in the same quarter a year ago. It came to Wall Street's estimate of $ 5.65 per share and marked the third consecutive quarterly record.

Revenue increased by 20 percent to $ 72.4 billion, ahead of analysts' consensus estimates of $ 71[ads1].95 billion and near the top end of the company's $ 66.5 billion guidance line to $ 72.5 billion.

Amazon Web Services, its cloud computing business, increased revenue 45 percent to $ 7.4 billion and operating profit increased 61 percent to $ 2.2 billion.

In its North American retail business, the largest revenue source, net sales increased by 18 percent to $ 44.1 billion. Revenue increased by one-third to $ 2.5 billion.

Other revenue, which consisted mainly of its growing advertising business, almost doubled from one year ago to $ 3.4 billion.

Amazon forecasts net sales in the first quarter would grow between 10 and 18 percent to $ 56 billion to $ 60 billion. Operating revenues are expected to come in between $ 2.3 billion and $ 3.3 billion, up from $ 1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018.

Wall Street analysts predicted $ 61 billion in first quarter net sales and operating revenues of $ 3 billion.

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