July 19, 2010 marked the day that Amazon's digital book sales eclipsed the sales of hardcover books, and it barely took half a year for those e-book sales to also overtake the sales of paperbacks. According to the ouftit's latest earnings release, "Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com." The company had surmised that this would happen by Q2 of this year, but it clearly went down a lot earlier than even it expected. Bezos and co. also sold through $12.95 billion worth of goods, representing The Jungle's first "$10 billion quarter." That came up to $416 million in net income, representing an eight percent uptick year-over-year. Of note, operating income slipped from $476 million in Q4 2009 to $474 million this year, with the unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates generating a staggering $18 million hit.
When looking at 2010 as a whole, Amazon's sales were up 40 percent over 2009, with operating income rising some 25 percent to $1.41 billion compared to the whole of 2009. Speaking specifically of the Kindle, the company is now moving 115 Kindle books for every 100 paperbacks sold, but this obviously only takes into account the US book business. We're still no closer to finding out exactly how many Kindles have been moved, but we're told that "millions" of the third-gen model were moved in Q4 2010, and the Kindle Storeitself has over 810,000 books on its digital shelves. Head on past the break if you're thirsty for more, Sir Economist.
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Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 36% to $12.95 Billion
SEATTLE, Jan 27, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2010.
Operating cash flow increased 6% to $3.50 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $3.29billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2009. Free cash flow decreased 14% to $2.52 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $2.92 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2009.
Common shares outstanding plus shares underlying stock-based awards totaled 465 million on December 31, 2010, compared with 461 million a year ago.
Net sales increased 36% to $12.95 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $9.52 billion in fourth quarter 2009. Excluding the $139 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales would have grown 37% compared with fourth quarter 2009.
Operating income was $474 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $476 million in fourth quarter 2009. The unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter on operating income was $18 million.
Net income increased 8% to $416 million in the fourth quarter, or $0.91 per diluted share, compared with net income of $384 million, or $0.85 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2009.
"Thanks to our customers, we achieved two big milestones," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. "We had our first $10 billion quarter, and after selling millions of third-generation Kindles with the new Pearl e-ink display during the quarter, Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com. Last July we announced that Kindle books had passed hardcovers and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year, so this milestone has come even sooner than we expected - and it's on top of continued growth in paperback sales."
Full Year 2010
Net sales increased 40% to $34.20 billion, compared with $24.51 billion in 2009. The unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the year on net sales was $86 million.
Operating income increased 25% to $1.41 billion, compared with $1.13 billion in 2009. The unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the year on operating income was $28 million. In 2009, operating income was negatively impacted by a $51 million legal settlement.
Net income increased 28% to $1.15 billion in 2010, or $2.53 per diluted share, compared with net income of $902 million, or $2.04 per diluted share, in 2009.
* Amazon.com is now selling more Kindle books than paperback books. Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the Company has sold 115 Kindle books. Additionally, during this same time period the Company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books. This is across Amazon.com's entire U.S. book business and includes sales of books where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the numbers even higher.
* The Company sold millions of third-generation Kindle devices with the new advanced paper-like Pearl e-ink display in the fourth quarter and the third-generation Kindle eclipsed "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" as the bestselling product in Amazon's history.
* The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 810,000 books including New Releases and 107 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers. Over 670,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 74 New York Times Bestsellers. Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle.
* Amazon added to its growing list of "Buy Once, Read Everywhere" Kindle apps, launching a Kindle app for Windows Phone 7. In addition, the Kindle for Android app was updated to enable users to buy, read and sync over 100 Kindle newspapers and magazines. All Kindle apps let customers "Buy Once, Read Everywhere"--on Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android-based devices. All Kindle apps are free and incorporate Amazon's Whispersync technology, which allows readers to seamlessly switch between devices. With Kindle Worry-Free Archive, books purchased from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online in the Kindle library on Amazon where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free, anytime.
* The Company announced Price Check for iPhone, a new price comparison app that provides shoppers an easy way to compare in-store prices with the low prices from Amazon.com and other online merchants. Shoppers can use the app to scan a barcode, snap a picture, or say or type a product name to instantly see online prices for that item. Over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, mobile shoppers used Price Check to look up prices over a million times. In December, shoppers used the app more than two million times to check prices.
* North America segment sales, representing the Company's U.S. and Canadian sites, were $7.21 billion, up 45% from fourth quarter 2009.
* International segment sales, representing the Company's U.K., German, Japanese, French, Chinese and Italian sites, were $5.74 billion, up 26% from fourth quarter 2009. Excluding the unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, sales grew 29%.
* Worldwide Media sales grew 12% to $5.23 billion. Excluding the unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, sales grew 13%.
* Worldwide Electronics & Other General Merchandise sales grew 60% to $7.39 billion. Excluding the unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, sales grew 62%.
* The Company launched Amazon.it, an Italian-language website offering customers a vast selection of books, DVDs, video games, music and consumer electronics at everyday low prices. Amazon.it's convenient services include Amazon Prime, the membership program with unlimited free guaranteed 2-3 day delivery at an annual fee of 9.99 Euros. The first product sold on Amazon.it was a Canon Pixma printer to a new Prime customer in Turino, Italy.
* Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced lowered usage pricing on existing Premium Support offerings by 50% and added two new support plans to meet the needs of developers and enterprises of all sizes and technical ability. In addition to the existing Silver and Gold support plans, AWS now offers a Bronze support plan for $49 per month and a Platinum support plan that provides 15 minute response times and dedicated Technical Account Managers.
* AWS achieved Level 1 Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, continuing its commitment to providing the security certifications developers and enterprises care about. Merchants and other service providers can now run their applications on AWS PCI-compliant technology infrastructure to store, process and transmit credit card information in the cloud.
* AWS launched Elastic Beanstalk, an easy way for developers to quickly deploy applications to AWS and manage applications in the AWS cloud. Elastic Beanstalk automatically scales up and down as needed so developers don't need to worry about configuring their infrastructure requirements in AWS. Unlike existing application containers or "platform as a service" offerings that force developers to accept infrastructure decisions pre-determined by the vendor, Elastic Beanstalk allows developers to "open the hood" to tinker with the AWS resources powering their applications. AWS customers can now choose to have as much automation or as much control as they wish.
The following forward-looking statements reflect Amazon.com's expectations as of January 27, 2011. Our results 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 2011 Guidance
* Net sales are expected to be between $9.1 billion and $9.9 billion, or to grow between 28% and 39% compared with first quarter 2010.
* Operating income is expected to be between $260 million and $385 million, or between 34% decline and 2% decline compared with first quarter 2010.
* This guidance includes approximately $140 million for stock-based compensation and amortization of intangible assets, and it assumes, among other things, that no additional business acquisitions or investments 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.
These forward-looking statements are inherently difficult to predict. Actual results could differ materially for a variety of reasons, including, in addition to the factors discussed above, the amount that Amazon.com invests in new business opportunities and the timing of those investments, the mix of products sold to customers, the mix of net sales derived from products as compared with services, the extent to which we owe income taxes, competition, management of growth, potential fluctuations in operating results, international growth and expansion, the outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, risks of inventory management, seasonality, the degree to which the Company enters into, maintains and develops commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, and risks of fulfillment throughput and productivity. Other risks and uncertainties include, among others, risks related to new products, services and technologies, system interruptions, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. In addition, the current global economic climate amplifies many of these risks. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.
Our investor relations website is www.amazon.com/ir and we encourage investors to use it as a way of easily finding information about us. We promptly make available on this website, free of charge, the reports that we file or furnish with the SEC, corporate governance information (including our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics), and select press releases and social media postings.