Amazon’s second-quarter profits jumped to $857 million, or $1.78 a diluted share, from $92 million, or 19 cents, a year earlier. Sales for the three months ended June 30 jumped 31 percent to $30.4 billion, with product sales rising 23.5 percent to $21.1 billion.
Investors approved and pushed shares of the company up 1.8 percent to $766.06 in after-hours trading.
Amazon hasn’t been known for posting profits, as it’s preferred instead to reinvest in new initiatives to gain share. The company has lately been building its web services business, which has helped buoy the bottom line.
Some of the quarterly lift — if not in profits then in sales — came from its manufactured shopping holiday, Prime Day. This July marked Prime Day’s second outing. Orders worldwide grew 60 percent, and orders from third-party sellers with Prime Day deals tripled.
Prime Day, in addition to giving Prime customers a reason to shop in the summer as Amazon tests mobile operations and fulfillment before the holiday season, is a way to attract new members to Amazon’s $99-a-year Prime membership and to get Amazon’s devices in customer homes — including the Kindle, the Fire tablet, Fire TV and Amazon Echo.
Amazon did not disclose how many Prime members came on board this Prime Day, but did chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky did offer that, “Suffice to say it was a great day for existing customers and those trying it out for the first time.”
Amazon added 18 fulfillment centers this quarter and expects to end the year with a total of 21 new facilities.
The new Amazon Business, which is a marketplace made for businesses, has attracted more than 400,000 businesses and generated more than $1 billion in sales in its first year. It also boasts more than 30,000 third-party sellers.
A call with investors didn’t include a mention of Amazon’s foray into private-label fashion, or much of fashion at all. The company’s quarterly statement, however, did mention a recent partnership between Amazon Prime Air and the U.K. government to test the use of drones for small-package delivery. This partnership lets Amazon test delivery, even out-of-sight delivery.
Much of Amazon’s news was outside of the U.S. Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos said that India had seen a number of developments, including the introduction of Prime there. Amazon also recently launched the Pan-European Fulfillment by Amazon program, which is a service that helps sellers export products to millions Amazon customers more quickly and efficiently.