Amazon Q4 Earnings Results
Amazon announced its Q4 earnings results today.
The key highlights were as follows:Overall Amazon beat expectations for the holiday period but posted its worse annual loss in their history
- Net sales increased by 9% to $149 billion
- The US business (+13% YOY) outperformed the international segment(+8% YOY) by 5%
- They had a record -breaking holiday season (thanksgiving to cyber Monday) performance
- E-Commerce sales dropped by 2% year over year in Q4. For the full year sales fell by 0.3%
- The US and International retail business (everything outside of AWS) recorded a operating net loss of $10.5 billion
- AWS continues to prop up results with operating profit of $22.8bn
- Amazon Advertising continued its upwards trajectory with growth of 19% on a year earlier
- Their guidance for Q1 2023 was growth of between 4%-8% on 1st quarter 2021
Overall, Amazon beat expectations, but there was concern in the market for a slow in the growth of AWS given its contribution to profitability. The retail business has had a tough year due to rising costs (fuel, labour and operations) which has been made worse by the business being over staffed and over capacity following the pandemic. Jassay is now right sizing the business to fit with current demand.
Amazon advertising continues to be a rising star, growing faster than its rivals, as more ad dollars flow into retail media. We expect the new AWS clean rooms (for analysing advertising, sales and marketing data) will give them a greater role in enabling business growth.
The move into healthcare is a notable inclusion in Andrew Jassy’s earning call signalling the importance of this division to Amazon’s future prosperity. He mentions the recent launches of Amazon Clinic and RxPass in the context of making Amazon Pharmacy a better way to find, choose and afford to stay healthy. Clearly Amazon is committed to this industry for the long term despite struggling to win customers in the early years.
A notable absence is any mention of Amazon stores and grocery which has been frequently mentioned in previous earnings calls. Perhaps any omnichannel expansion is moving down the priority list.
Amazon’s results mirror the retail economy in 2022. But their diversified portfolio of businesses mean that they’ve been more resilient to tough trading conditions than other e-commerce companies. They have made some tough calls to cut back on staff and warehouse capacity in 2022 which should make 2023 a more profitable year.
Image Credit: Amazon