E-commerce giant Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) is gearing up for another quarterly report after the closing bell on Thursday. This time, the report will cover results from the second quarter of fiscal 2017.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) will provide a lot of the bottom-line meat again, and management will face a barrage of questions about the proposed buyout of the Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) high-end grocery store chain.
Here's an overview of what else you can expect from Amazon's second-quarter report.
By the numbers
In the second quarter, management expects net sales to grow approximately 20% year over year, landing near $36.5 billion. Operating profits were given a wide range as usual, starting at $425 million and reaching as high as $1.075 billion.
If we assume that Amazon's interest and tax expenses are consistent with recent quarters, that would result in bottom-line earnings somewhere between $0.80 and $1.42 per diluted share. For what it's worth, Wall Street analysts have clustered around the upper end of that earnings guidance range.
The Whole Foods project
Amazon's $13.7 billion bid for Whole Foods was not a complete surprise. Fellow Fool Jeremy Bowman had already seen Amazon kicking the tires of the embattled grocery retailer, calling the pair "a good fit" for each other. Their target demographics are similar, Amazon has been looking for a groceries strategy for at least three years, and Whole Foods stores might even serve as hyper-local shipping hubs for popular items unrelated to the food market.
It was still surprising to see the e-tailer pull the trigger on its largest acquisition yet, and management will be beset with questions about this deal from all sides in Thursday's earnings call with analysts.
AWS marches on
The company's cloud-computing services saw revenue rising 43% year over year in the first quarter, and the story should remain similar in this report. That segment accounted for 10% of Amazon's overall sales last quarter but generated almost all of the company's operating profit.
In the past three months, Amazon has tweaked AWS even further. The company is building data centers in emerging high-growth hubs such as India, and AWS recently hired computer-industry legend James Gosling to upgrade its Internet of Things operations.
But wait -- there's always more!
Amazon throws its fair share of curve balls. These earnings reports and analyst calls are always worth exploring from top to bottom.
The third Prime Day event, held in mid-July, broke sales records and will get a few column inches in this report. The Alexa assistant and its Echo line of hardware devices is another proven winner, leaving investors hungry for further detail. And wouldn't it be nice if Amazon actually reported how many subscribers its Prime shipping program actually boasts? That would be a first.
The proof, as always, is in the creamy dessert. Tune in on Thursday night to get the whole story.