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.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.