Jeff Bezos' AWS cash machine finally catches up with Amazon's US, Canada e-shop

A 90-second guide to Amazon's latest financial quarter

Dictionary editors are crossing out their definitions for "cloud" and "money" and replacing it with "n. Amazon."

In the past three months, Amazon Web Services (AWS) had made about as much money – $521m (£338m) – as its online shop did in the US and Canada. The public cloud has more than one million active customers in 190 countries, we're told.

(No time for tears over its flopped hardware, er, wait. Scratch that.)

Shares in Amazon were up 10 per cent in after-hours trading today after the Seattle-headquartered biz banked a $79m (£51m) profit between July and September. The world's biggest online bazaar sold 34.4 million things worldwide on its Prime Day in July – a sales day for Prime subscribers.

This and more emerged from Amazon's Q3 2015 financial results [PDF] published on Thursday after the markets closed. Here's your roundup of the GAAP stats and facts from the quarter, which ended September 30:

  • Net sales were $25.35bn (£16.48bn) up 23 per cent from the year-ago quarter's $20.57bn (£13.37bn). That figure can be broken into net product sales of $18.46bn (£12bn) up from 2014's $16bn, and net service sales of $6.89bn up from last year's $4.55bn.

  • Net income was $79m (£51.3m) up from the year-ago quarter's $437m (£284m) net loss.

  • Earnings per share were $0.17 up from an earnings loss per share of $0.95 this time last year. Analysts were expecting a loss of $0.13 per share and revenues totalling $24.9bn this quarter; Amazon beat both.

  • Breaking down the revenue figures further:

    • In the US and Canada, net sales hit $15bn, up 28 per cent year-on-year, and the segment banked $528m in operating income, up from last year's loss of $60m.
    • Outside of North America, net sales were $8.26bn, up seven per cent, and the segment lost $56m compared to $174m in Q3 2014.
    • Amazon Web Services had net sales of $2bn, up 78 per cent, and banked an operating income of $521m, up 431 per cent from $98m a year-ago.
  • Amazon reckons its net sales will grow somewhere between 14 percent and 25 per cent year on year to somewhere between $33bn and $36bn in the final quarter of the year – the all-important holiday shopping season.

What with the uptick in share price, this all means Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now worth $55bn on paper, making him the third richest man in America. It seems the only thing that can slow down the rise of Bezos' AWS juggernaut is a rise in interest rates. ®

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