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What Investors Should Know Ahead of Amazon’s Earnings

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That's right, it's earnings season, and some of our favorite stocks are reporting this week, including  (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) . Let's take a look at what investors should focus on as the world's largest online retailer gets ready to report its third-quarter earnings. With so much emphasis placed on quarterly reports these days, an earnings miss from Amazon could send shares lower on the news.

Fortunately, the majority of analysts expect Amazon to knock it out of the park yet again with double-digit revenue growth in its third quarter. The disruptive retailer is set to report earnings on Thursday at 2 p.m. While revenue for the period is expected to soar, investors should also be prepared for a possible decline in profitability. You see, Amazon has been investing heavily in its business as it focuses on longer-term world domination.

By pushing money back into the business to help fund things like warehouse distribution, Amazon Prime, and new company initiatives, it weighs on the company's bottom line. However, as an Amazon shareholder, I like to see management fueling growth this way -- even if that means sacrificing short-term profitability.

Competitive landscape
Amazon continues to put pressure on bricks-and-mortar retailers such as Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) . In fact, heading into the holiday season, Best Buy plans to match prices offered by online retailers as a way to better compete against Amazon. While it's nice to see the big-box retailer finally try to address the growing issue of "showrooming", I doubt this will have much of an impact on Amazon.

The e-commerce giant is surging ahead of competitors, and I suspect we'll see that in its upcoming earnings announcement. According to data from FactSet, analysts expect Amazon to report a loss of $0.07 per share on revenue of $13.92 billion for the period.

Everyone knows Amazon is the big bad wolf in the retail world right now, but with its sky-high valuation, most investors are worried that it's the company's share price that will get knocked down instead of its competitors'. We'll tell you what's driving the company's growth and how to know when to buy and sell Amazon in our new premium report. The report also has you covered with a full year of free analyst updates to keep you informed as Amazon's story changes, so click here now to read more.

Fool contributor Tamara Rutter owns shares of The Motley Fool owns shares of Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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