For details on Amazon.com’s growth story, read CIO.com’s recent article about the company’s evolution and IT infrastructure.
Yesterday, Amazon.com released its financial results for its third quarter 2007. Net sales spiked 41 percent to $3.26 billion in the third quarter, from $2.31 billion the same quarter a year ago. Operating income jumped from $40 million in the third quarter of 2006 to $123 million, for a 207 percent increase from quarter to quarter. Earnings per share for the July-September period grew from $.05 per diluted share in 2006 to $.19 per diluted share this year.
Rick Dalzell, Amazon.com’s long-time CIO who announced in August that he would be retiring by the end of the year, sure seems to be leaving the company on a high note.
In a conference call, Amazon.com attributed its growth to sales of the final Harry Potter book and an increase in the number of third-party sellers involved with the website.
The online retailer also raised its outlook for its full year performance. The company expects net sales for the full fiscal year 2007 to fall between $14.2 billion and $14.6 billion (during the second quarter that range was $13.8 and $14.3) and operating income to hit between $605 million and $675 million (compared with $540 million and $640 million the previous quarter).
The news sent shares of Amazon.com’s stock soaring. It closed yesterday at $100.82, trading in the triple digits for the first time since the boom days of 1999. Today, it’s stock is trading around $84 per share, down on investors’ concerns about the company’s profitability in the fourth quarter, according to MarketWatch.
Oh, those finicky Wall Street types: Their mercurial caprices are never satisfied.
But some research analysts remain optimistic about Amazon.com’s short- and long-term prospects. Sanford C. Bernstein’s Jeffrey Lindsay was quoted in MarketWatch’s story saying that his firm expects to see the company’s margins continue to improve.
Lindsay has remained confident in the stock since I spoke with him last month for an article on Amazon.com. At the time, he emphasized that Amazon.com had reached an important milestone in its evolution: It had realized Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’s vision of growth and margin improvement for the company. “It’s taken 10 years, but he’s rebuilt top line growth back up to 38 percent,” Lindsay said. (Lindsay does not own any Amazon.com stock, and Sanford C. Bernstein does not have an investment banking relationship with the company, either.)
For details on Amazon.com’s growth and earnings achievements–and on the role its IT infrastructure has played in that growth–read CIO.com’s story about Amazon.com, 10 years after its IPO.