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Surprise! Amazon Turned a Profit Again and Wall Street Is Giddy.

Amazon is showing investors it can make money and still grow fast.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Amazon is showing investors it can make money and still grow fast. And investors are loving it.

The Seattle-based e-tailer posted a third-quarter profit of 17 cents per share on $25.5 billion in revenue, beating both profit and revenue expectations of analysts. They were expecting Amazon to lose 13 cents per share in the quarter on $24.9 billion in revenue. Amazon’s stock soared more than 10 percent in after-hours trading.

Despite its reputation as a money loser, Amazon has now turned a profit — even if barely — in nine of the last 15 quarters. Amazon is known for re-investing the money it makes on mature businesses into new initiatives, but the company’s CFO has said in recent quarters that it was going to be more prudent in cost management.

“We continue to invest in a lot of customer-facing areas, most notably our prime platform, selection addition, new delivery methods, new content, new devices, new features in our AWS business, so the investment remains very high,” the CFO, Brian Olsavsky, said on a call with reporters. “But we also chase cost reductions and efficiencies at the same time.”

Amazon’s cloud computing business AWS continues to be its fastest grower, with revenue up 78 percent over the past year to $2.1 billion. The unit’s operating profit margin was 25 percent for the quarter, up sequentially from 21 percent in Q2 and 17 percent in Q1. Before Amazon began breaking out AWS numbers earlier this year, many analysts assumed AWS was a money-losing business.

Amazon revenue growth also got a big bump from Prime Day, a 24-hour sale across a wide array of products. Olsavsky told reporters on a media call that the sale added 2 percent to the company’s revenue growth rate globally in the third quarter.

Amazon Prime, its $99-a-year shipping membership program, continues to drive revenue growth, executives said, in part because Prime members spend much more than other Amazon customers do. It also continues to improve delivery speeds to Prime members, with free same-day delivery in some markets and even one-hour delivery in others.

The stock surge boosted CEO Jeff Bezos’ personal net worth to more than $55 billion, according to Bloomberg, placing only Bill Gates and Warren Buffett ahead of him among Americans.

This story has been updated with information from Amazon’s earnings calls with reporters and analysts.

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