Amazon.com Inc. scored big on Wall Street today, even with a drop in fourth-quarter profits.
The e-commerce giant reported that net profits slipped 10.5 percent to $214 million, or 45 cents a diluted share. Despite the decline, earnings per share came in a full 28 cents ahead of the 17 cents Wall Street analysts projected.
That beat helped push Amazon’s stock up 7.5 percent to $335.09 in after hours trading.
Revenues for the three months ended Dec. 31 increased 14.6 percent to $29.3 billion from $25.6 billion.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive officer, emphasized the value of the company’s Prime membership, which for $99 a year offers free two-day shipping on many goods, streaming video and other perks.
“When we raised the price of Prime membership last year, we were confident that customers would continue to find it the best bargain in the history of shopping. The data is in and customers agree — on a base of tens of millions, worldwide paid membership grew 53 percent last year — 50 percent in the U.S. and even a bit faster outside the U.S.,” Bezos said. “Prime is a one-of-a-kind, all-you-can-eat, physical-digital hybrid — in 2014 alone we paid billions of dollars for Prime shipping and invested $1.3 billion in Prime Instant Video. We’ll continue to work hard for our Prime members.”
That kind of spending has helped Amazon build market share, but comes at a price.
For all of last year, the tech company registered net losses of $241 million even as revenues jumped 19.5 percent to $89 billion.