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Amazon just turned a profit for the eighth straight quarter

A fast-growing and profitable Amazon is a scary Amazon.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference
Asa Mathat

Amazon posted another solid earnings report for the first quarter, beating analyst estimates with revenue of $35.7 billion and handily surpassing profit expectations with earnings per share of $1.48.

The results mark the eighth quarter in a row that Amazon has posted a profit. Yes, the same Amazon that has long been maligned for its supposed inability to make money.

A big reason for the profit streak is the growth of Amazon’s cloud-computing business, Amazon Web Services. The unit is way more profitable than Amazon’s core retail business — there are no physical products to buy, store and ship in AWS — and growing rapidly. While its growth is decelerating, its revenue still grew 43 percent year over year to $3.7 billion. That helps the bottom line a lot.

But to know Jeff Bezos’s priorities is to know that he cares more about cash flow than net income. That’s because Amazon isn’t looking to sit on the money that flows through its coffers — it’s looking to spend it on investments like new warehouses, more Alexa-powered gadgets and original video programming that will create the next moats separating it from the competition over the next decade.

And these numbers are moving in the direction Bezos likes to see.

Amazon’s stock was up more than 3 percent in after-hours trading.

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