When Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported third-quarter results near the end of October, the report triggered a massive share-price surge. All told, shares of the online retailer and cloud computing service provider gained 15% last month, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Amazon's third-quarter sales rose 34% year over year to $43.7 billion, including a $1.3 billion contribution from the acquisition of Whole Foods Market that closed at the end of August. GAAP earnings held steady at $0.52 per share, while adjusted earnings rose 18% to $0.73 per diluted share. Analysts would have settled for adjusted earnings of $0.03 per share on sales near $42.1 billion. With or without Whole Foods, Amazon crushed Wall Street's targets. Share prices surged nearly 14% higher the next day.
Amazon is firing on all cylinders and reinvesting the windfalls into a more robust distribution system. With more than 540,000 full-time and part-time staffers on its payroll, this is one of the largest employers in America and the world.
The stock has gained a market-beating 48% so far in 2017, and Amazon's market cap now exceeds half a trillion dollars. Can anything or anybody stop this juggernaut? As an Amazon shareholder myself, I don't think so.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Anders Bylund owns shares of Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.