RETAIL ALERT | Amazon’s Second Quarter Results – A Solid Bounce-Back Performance | August 4, 2023

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Amazon beat expectations for both revenue and earnings in the quarter despite experiencing some softness in its cloud-computing business. Net product sales increased $2.5 billion or 4.3% compared to the year-ago quarter, while net service sales increased $10.7 billion or 16.5%.

Making headlines:

Amazon’s net sales jumped 11% to $134.4 billion, up from $121.2 billion in the year-ago quarter.

  • North American sales were $82.5 billion, or 61% of total revenue.
  • International sales were $29.7 billion, or 22% of total.
  • AWS represented $22.1 billion of sales, or 17% of total.

Operating income increased $4.4 billion:

Total operating income for the quarter was $7.7 billion compared to $3.3 billion for the prior-year quarter. 

  • North America reported operating income of $3.2 billion, a $3.8 million improvement compared to the year-ago quarter.
  • While International reported a loss of $0.9 billion, results were a $0.9 billion improvement over the prior year.
  • Operating income from AWS was $5.4 billion, down slightly from the prior-year quarter.
  • Operating income as a percent of sales for AWS was 24.4% compared to 3.9% for North American sales, highlighting the outsized importance of AWS to the Company’s profitability.

What’s driving revenue at Amazon:

63% of the Company’s second-quarter sales came from online stores and third-party services. Non-core businesses, such as AWS, advertising, subscription services, and physical stores, represented 37% of sales.

  • Online stores: $53.0 billion, or 47.2% of total non-AWS sales
  • Third-party services: $32.3 billion, or 28.8%
  • Advertising services: $10.7 billion, or 9.5%
  • Subscription services: $9.9 billion, or 8.8%
  • Physical stores: $5.0 billion, or 4.5%

Prime Day provided a strong revenue boost:

According to the Company, this year was the biggest Prime Day ever, with $12.7 billion in sales over the two-day event.

  • Prime Day sales represented 15% of the Company’s quarterly sales from online stores and third-party services.
  • Shoppers purchased 375 million items during Prime Day 2023, up from 300 million last year.
  • The average Prime Day order was $54.05.

The outlook

Amazon has appeared to have adjusted to the new post-pandemic norm, and brands should continue to focus on maximizing their sales opportunities on the platform. Amazon expects year-over-year sales to grow between 9% and 13% in the third quarter and operating income to be between $5.5 billion and $8.5 billion – a significant increase compared to $2.5 billion in the third quarter of 2022. The Company is also investing $100 million in the AWS Generative AI Innovation Center to “help customers successfully build and deploy generative AI products, services, and processes.”

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