Shares of Amazon shot up 17.6 percent after the e-commerce giant, known for spending heavily to drive sales, posted a surprise second-quarter profit of $92 million, or 19 cents a diluted share.
The earnings compared with year-ago losses of $126 million, or 27 cents.
The bottom-line gain was paired with a 19.9 percent rise in net sales, to $23.19 billion.
Analysts on average projected losses per share of 27 cents for the quarter on slightly lower revenues, of $22.39 billion. Investors, used to getting by on Amazon’s market share gains and not net income, approved and traded the stock up $84.88 to $567.06 in after-hours trading.
The company’s laser focus on growth has become apparent in the way it has approached fashion — the industry is very much on Amazon’s radar and everyone from Wall Street to Macy’s to the runway is feeling its presence.
Analysts at Cowen & Co. recently projected that the e-tailer would overtake Macy’s Inc. as the largest apparel retailer in the U.S. by 2017. Cowen sees the Amazon’s gross merchandise value of apparel sales more than tripling to $52 billion by 2020 from $16 billion this year.
And Amazon is working hard to raise its fashion profile. The company’s Amazon Fashion, East Dane, and MyHabit units sponsored New York Fashion Week: Men’s this month. That catwalk connection is growing, and Amazon is also sponsoring India Couture Week, starting July 29.
“We want to work across the fashion spectrum,” Vikram Raizada, director of category management at Amazon India, told WWD, explaining that the e-tailer is extending its association with the Fashion Design Council of India with the sponsorship.
In London, the company celebrated the opening of its largest fashion photography studio this week. The studio required a multimillion dollar investment to create 22 photographic bays in the 46,000-square-foot space. In tandem, Amazon introduced Suki Waterhouse as its first brand ambassador for European fashion for the fall season.
“We’re putting our stake in the ground, and the new space shows our ambition to create beautiful content for the fashion world,” said Sergio Bucher, vice president of Amazon Fashion EU.