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Amazon's Fourth Quarter Profit Up, But Sales Disappoint

February 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon's decision to focus on revenue growth and investments rather than on heavy promotions led to a 55% jump in profits for the fourth quarter. But sales hit only the midpoint of the company target, with revenue up by $43.7 billion, a less-than-expected 22% increase from the previous quarter. CFO Brian Olsavsky says the company continues to focus and made great progress on "things we can directly control", referring to price, selection and customer experience. While many retailers turned to heavy promotions during the holidays, Olsavsky said promotions weren't a major factor in fourth-quarter revenue. Amazon continue to dominate online sales, commanding an estimated 42% of total holiday online spending growth in 2016, with Apple Inc. in poor second at 5%. [Image credit © Amazon Inc.]
Laura Stevens, "Amazon’s Profit Jumps, but Sales Growth Disappoints", The Wall Street Journal, February 02, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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