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Amazon shares jump on surprise profit

Amazon earnings

United Parcel Service driver Paul Musial lifts an Amazon.com box in Palo Alto, Calif.

(Paul Sakuma / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Amazon.com reported a surprise second-quarter profit Thursday on continued strength of its cloud-computing business and strong revenue both domestically and abroad.

Shares jumped $83.96, or 17%, to $566.14 in aftermarket trading.

The quarterly results bucked Amazon’s long-time strategy of investing the money it earns back into the company, resulting in quarterly losses or thin profits. But Amazon got a boost in revenue from Amazon Web Services, a suite of products and services offered to businesses by way of the “cloud,” or remote servers that enable users to access applications on any machine with an Internet connection.

It was the second quarter the company broke out results for the unit. Revenue from that business climbed 81% to $1.82 billion.

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Amazon.com Inc. on Thursday reported second-quarter net income of $92 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.

On a per-share basis, the Seattle-based company said it had profit of 19 cents.

The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 15 cents per share.

The online retailer posted revenue of $23.2 billion in the period, also beating Street forecasts. Fifteen analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $22.3 billion.

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For the current quarter ending in September, Amazon said it expects revenue in the range of $23.3 billion to $25.5 billion. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenue of $23.8 billion.

Amazon shares have climbed 55% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased 2%. In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, shares hit $482.18, an increase of 44% in the last 12 months.


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