Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 15% to $29.33 Billion

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Amazon.com today announced financial results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2014.

Operating cash flow increased 25% to $6.84 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $5.47 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2013. Free cash flow decreased to $1.95 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $2.03 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

Common shares outstanding plus shares underlying stock-based awards totaled 483 million on December 31, 2014, compared with 476 million one year ago.

Fourth Quarter 2014

Net sales increased 15% to $29.33 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $25.59 billion in fourth quarter 2013. Excluding the $895 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 18% compared to fourth quarter 2013.

Operating income was $591 million in the fourth quarter, compared with operating income of $510 million in fourth quarter 2013.

Net income was $214 million in the fourth quarter, or $0.45 per diluted share, compared with net income of $239 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2013.

Full Year 2014

Net sales increased 20% to $88.99 billion, compared with $74.45 billion in 2013. Excluding the $636 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the year, net sales increased 20% compared with 2013.

Operating income was $178 million, compared with operating income of $745 million in 2013.

Net loss was $241 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared with net income of $274 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, in 2013.

“When we raised the price of Prime membership last year, we were confident that customers would continue to find it the best bargain in the history of shopping. The data is in and customers agree — on a base of tens of millions, worldwide paid membership grew 53% last year — 50% in the U.S. and even a bit faster outside the U.S.,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.

“Prime is a one-of-a-kind, all-you-can-eat, physical-digital hybrid — in 2014 alone we paid billions of dollars for Prime shipping and invested $1.3 billion in Prime Instant Video. We’ll continue to work hard for our Prime members.”

Highlights

  • Amazon announced Prime Now, a new service offering paid one-hour and free two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of daily essentials via a new mobile app. The service is currently available in Manhattan and will expand to other cities this year.
  • Amazon introduced Prime Photos, providing free unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive. Prime members now have a simple, secure place to store their existing collections of photos, automatically upload new photos as they are taken, and access them anytime, anywhere, at no cost.
  • Amazon introduced Fire TV Stick, bringing the same experience customers love about Amazon Fire TV — ease of use, great performance, and vast selection — to a smaller and even more affordable device. Fire TV Stick plugs into the HDMI port on an HDTV and provides instant access to movies, TV shows, music, photos, apps, and games.
  • Amazon introduced Echo, a new category of device designed around voice recognition. Echo is hands-free and always on — customers can ask it for information, music, news, and weather from across the room and get results or answers instantly. Echo uses far-field voice recognition with an advanced array of seven microphones to clearly hear around the room, and has advanced audio design that includes dual downward-firing speakers that produce 360° omni-directional, room-filling audio.
  • The critically-acclaimed Prime-exclusive series, Transparent, received two Golden Globes. Transparent is the first series from a streaming video service to win a Golden Globe for best series.
  • Amazon Studios announced it will begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution on Prime Instant Video. Production will begin in 2015 with the goal of bringing a dozen original, prestige movies to customers each year.
  • Amazon debuted its first pilot season of 2015, which is available exclusively on Amazon Instant Video in the U.S., U.K., and Germany. The new pilots include Cocked, Mad Dogs, The Man in the High Castle, Point of Honor, Down Dog, Salem Rogers, and The New Yorker Presents, as well as six new kids pilots. All ten episodes of the highly-anticipated dramatic comedy series Mozart in the Jungle premiered on Prime Instant Video in the U.S., U.K., and Germany. In addition, all ten episodes of the drama series, Bosch, will premiere in February on Prime Instant Video in the U.S., U.K., and Germany.
  • Amazon Studios announced it will produce the first television series from Oscar-winning director and producer Woody Allen, which will debut exclusively on Prime Instant Video in the U.S., U.K., and Germany in 2015. Untitled Woody Allen Project has received a full season order and will be written and directed by Allen.
  • Amazon launched the Kindle Store in the Netherlands, offering over 3 million titles in many languages, over 700,000 Kindle exclusives, and more than 20,000 titles in Dutch.
  • AmazonFresh expanded to Manhattan and Philadelphia. Prime members in eligible zip codes can combine grocery and other shopping into one seamless experience. Customers can order from over 500,000 items for same-day and early morning delivery.
  • The number of Amazon sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) grew by more than 65% year-over-year in 2014. In the fourth quarter, FBA units represented more than 40% of total third-party units.
  • Amazon unveiled its 8th generation fulfillment center which utilizes robotics, vision systems, and almost 20 years worth of software and mechanical innovations to fulfill customer orders. During the holiday season, the fulfillment network included more than 15,000 robots in 10 fulfillment centers across the U.S.
  • Amazon.co.uk announced that Sunday deliveries have grown by more than 4x in the last year as more customers across the U.K. discover the benefits of receiving orders seven days a week. The increase in Sunday deliveries has been made possible in large part due to the introduction of Amazon Logistics, a technology and logistics platform that empowers independent local, regional, and national delivery companies across the U.K. to deliver Amazon parcels to customers seven days a week.
  • Amazon announced it will open a 46,000 square-foot fashion photography studio in Shoreditch, London in 2015. The studio will be one of the largest of its kind in Europe and will provide both on-model and off-model imaging for Amazon’s rapidly growing European fashion business.
  • In 2014, the second year of its operation, Amazon.in emerged as India’s largest online store. It launched 24 new departments, increasing selection to over 19 million products, and grew its seller base exponentially to more than 16,000 sellers.
  • Amazon launched Amazon Global Store on the China site, www.amazon.cn. The store provides approximately 200,000 products selected from the Amazon U.S. website based on the most popular Chinese customer demands. Chinese customers are now able to enjoy the same quality product at the same price as U.S. customers, while having a Chinese shopping experience, local customer service, and direct shipment to their homes.
  • With over 515 significant service and feature releases in 2014 (up more than 80% year-over-year), and over one million active customers, Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to grow strongly, with usage growth close to 90% year-over-year for the fourth quarter.
  • AWS announced that more than 13,500 attendees from 63 countries attended AWS re:Invent 2014, its third annual customer and partner conference.
  • AWS announced Amazon Aurora, a MySQL-compatible database engine for Amazon Relational Database Service that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. Amazon Aurora provides up to 5x better performance than the typical MySQL database, availability as good or better than commercial databases or high-end SANs, and superior scalability and security — all at one-tenth the cost of high-end commercial database offerings.
  • AWS announced AWS Lambda, a compute service that runs developers’ code in response to events and automatically manages the required compute resources, making it easy to build and manage applications that respond quickly to new information.
  • AWS announced three new services to make it even easier for enterprises to maintain security, governance, and compliance of their resources in the AWS cloud: AWS Key Management Service, AWS Config, and AWS Service Catalog.
  • AWS announced AWS CodeDeploy, a fully managed, high-scale deployment service that lets developers quickly and simply automate the process of deploying and updating applications on Amazon EC2.
  • AWS announced the Amazon EC2 Container Service, a highly scalable, high-performance container management service that makes it easy to run and manage distributed applications using containers on AWS.
  • AWS has teamed with Pattern Energy Group LP to support the construction and operation of a 150 megawatt wind farm in Benton County, Indiana, called the Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge). It is expected to generate approximately 500,000 megawatt hours of wind power annually that will be used to help power both current and future AWS data centers.
  • AWS announced Amazon WorkMail, a cloud-based business email and calendaring service with strong security controls and support for popular email clients.

Financial Guidance

The following forward-looking statements reflect Amazon.com’s expectations as of January 29, 2015, and are subject to substantial uncertainty. Rresults are inherently unpredictable and may be materially affected by many factors, such as fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, changes in global economic conditions and consumer spending, world events, the rate of growth of the Internet and online commerce, and the various factors detailed below.

First Quarter 2015 Guidance

  • Net sales are expected to be between $20.9 billion and $22.9 billion, or to grow between 6% and 16% compared with first quarter 2014.
  • Operating income (loss) is expected to be between $(450) million and $50 million, compared to $146 million in first quarter 2014.
  • This guidance includes approximately $450 million for stock-based compensation and amortization of intangible assets, and it assumes, among other things, that no additional business acquisitions, investments, restructurings, or legal settlements are concluded and that there are no further revisions to stock-based compensation estimates.

A conference call will be webcast live today at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET, and will be available for at least three months at www.amazon.com/ir. This call will contain forward-looking statements and other material information regarding the Company’s financial and operating results.

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