On Thursday, Amazon announced its fourth quarter results, failing to meet analysts' high expectations.
By all indications, the 2015 holiday quarter was a success for the e-commerce giant. Amazon recorded a record quarterly profit of $482 million, or $1 per diluted share, and posted $35.75 billion in revenue for the quarter (a 22% increase). The company broke shipping records, doubled the sales of its in-house devices, and added more than 3 million Prime members in the third week of December alone. For the full year of 2015, Amazon increased net sales 20% to 107 billion and posted a net income of $596 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, up from a net loss of $241 million in 2014. "Twenty years ago, I was driving the packages to the post office myself and hoping we might one day afford a forklift. This year, we pass $100 billion in annual sales and serve 300 million customers," said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos on the quarterly report. "And still, measured by the dynamism we see everywhere in the marketplace and by the ever-expanding opportunities we see to invent on behalf of customers, it feels every bit like Day 1."
Despite these impressive figures for the fourth quarter of 2015, Amazon did not meet analysts' expectations. Analysts had predicted the e-commerce giant to post $1.56 per share in quarterly profit and $35.93 billion in revenue. Following Amazon's earnings report, analysts' high expectations drove its stock down. Shipping and fulfillment costs (growing faster than the company's revenue) also took a toll. In after-hours trading on Thursday, Amazon's stock dropped more than 13%.
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