Amazon.com Beats on EPS But GAAP Results Lag

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) reported earnings on Jan. 30. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Amazon.com missed estimates on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue expanded significantly and GAAP earnings per share contracted significantly.

Gross margins expanded, operating margins grew, net margins dropped.

Revenue details
Amazon.com recorded revenue of $21.27 billion. The 36 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ looked for a top line of $22.26 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 22% higher than the prior-year quarter's $17.43 billion.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.31. The 20 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.29 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.21 for Q4 were 45% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.38 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 24.1%, 340 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 1.9%, 40 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 0.5%, 50 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $16.50 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.11.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $76.17 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.85.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 5,347 members out of 6,739 rating the stock outperform, and 1,392 members rating it underperform. Among 1,743 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 1,462 give Amazon.com a green thumbs-up, and 281 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Amazon.com is outperform, with an average price target of $274.65.

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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com. 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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  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2013, at 3:24 PM, pondee619 wrote:

    "The 20 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.29 per share"

    Which earning per share are being estimated?

    "EPS came in at $0.31" or

    "GAAP EPS of $0.21"

    The report I heard this morning wss the AMZN missed on both the top line. as reported by you, and earnings, an estimate of $0.29 and actual of $0.21.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/amazon-com-announces-fourth-qu...

    "Net income decreased 45% to $97 million in the fourth quarter, or $0.21 per diluted share, compared with $177 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2011"

    AMZN's press release, linked above, makes no mention of your .31 figure. You'd think they would, no?

    So, I guess I have two question:

    1. Which earnigs are being estimated; and

    2. From where did the .31 earnings in your story come?

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