Last Minute Thought: Buy or Sell Amazon (AMZN) Stock Before 3Q18 Earnings?

Amazon sinks as revenue growth disappoints

Amazon's Prime Day boost couldn't save it from disappointing sales

The fall of as much as 9 percent in shares knocked more than $80 billion off Amazon's market value and relegated it behind Microsoft Corp MSFT.O and Apple Inc AAPL.O in terms of market value.

Amazon is a company that seems to be midway through a transformation meant to bring soaring profitability via improving margin on the back of its truly staggering sales run rates.

Amazon Web Services is now contributing more operating income than Amazon.com North America, with $2.077 billion operating income reported for the quarter, versus $2.032 billion for Amazon.com NA. The AWS segment isn't slowing down, either.

Operating cash flow increased 57 percent to $26.6 billion.

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Google's parent company Alphabet released its third-quarter 2018 results, revealing a total revenue of $33.74 billion Dollars (about $44.04 billion CAD).

The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France, August 8, 2018. The company's burgeoning advertising business continued to show strength, with sales more than doubling in the quarter.

During a post-earnings conference call with investors, Amazon said that it expected worldwide sales to receive a boost in the December quarter, thanks to the late Diwali in India. Amazon said revenue was hurt by foreign exchange rate changes.

That was less than forecast, and investors were also disappointed at Amazon's predictions for revenue and profit in the busy period leading up to Christmas.

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Amazon reported net income of US$2.88 billion, or US$5.75 a share in the third quarter, from US$256 million, or US52¢, a year earlier. Its overall subscription revenue, which comes not just from Prime, but also from Audible.com, Amazon Music, and other services, grew 52% from the third quarter previous year to $3.7 billion.

Amazon is quickly morphing into a "profit machine", writes Anthony Chukumbo, a senior analyst at Loop Capital.

The Seattle-based company touted the growing popularity of Amazon Business, a service tailored as a source of all kinds of equipment and supplies for companies. Amazon India registered its best-ever performance in festive sales, which is usually dominated by Flipkart's flagship event, The Big Billion Days sale.

This healthy figure represents a 122% increase year over year and a jump of $301m from the last quarter, putting Amazon on track to hit the psychologically important $10bn a year mark in annualised sales for the sector. As Amazon continues to surge thanks to more consumers spending more online, traditional retailers like Toys R Us and Sears have fallen into bankruptcy protection.

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