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Amazon’s holiday sales numbers disappointed investors

But the online retailer was profitable for a seventh straight quarter.

Jeff Bezos being interviewed by Walt Mossberg at the 2016 Code Conference
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference
Asa Mathat
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 posted lower-than-anticipated revenue in the holiday fourth quarter and announced disappointing first-quarter guidance, sending its stock down 4 percent in after-hours trading.

The giant online retailer’s fourth-quarter revenue came in about $1 billion lower than analyst estimates, at $43.7 billion. Amazon also announced first-quarter guidance on revenue and operating income that came in below estimates.

In a call with reporters, Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky called out a negative, and unexpected, foreign exchange rate impact. It resulted in a swing of about $800 million in revenue off of what Amazon was expecting for the quarter, he said.

Amazon did beat analyst expectations on profits with earnings of $1.54 a share versus estimates of $1.37. That makes it seven straight quarters of profits for the company that once carried the stigma of not being able to make money.


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