Amazon shares soared after the company reported fourth-quarter revenue hit $60.5 billion, driving profits up 150 percent to $1.9 billion.
Shares of the firm jumped 6.2 percent to $1,475.93 as Amazon investors — not necessarily accustomed to profits — applauded the growth in after-hours trading.
The holidays may have been huge for the marketplace, although the company was hardly hurting for money. Its revenue, which includes Whole Foods, leapt 38 percent compared to the previous year, and its massive cloud business continued to grow. Amazon Web Services, which powers a large portion of the Internet and accounts for most of the company’s profits, raked in $5.11 billion.
Amazon also got a helping hand from U.S. tax reform legislation, which gave it a benefit of approximately $789 million.
This week, Amazon’s stock gains pushed its market capitalization over $700 billion for the first time.
Chief executive officer Jeff Bezos gave a nod to his company Alexa voice assistant: “Our 2017 projections for Alexa were very optimistic and we far exceeded them. We don’t see positive surprises of this magnitude very often.”
The ceo then pledged to “double down” on Alexa.
If the company has had a busy 2017 — expanding its Alexa footprint, getting into the supermarket business, developing the cashier-less Amazon Go retail experience and pushing further into the fashion and beauty space — 2018 looks even busier. Amazon recently revealed a healthcare deal with partners Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan Chase, and its hunt for the location of its second headquarters, HQ2, is ongoing.
For all of 2017, Amazon rang in $177.9 billion in sales, a 31 percent increase from 2016’s $136 billion. And on Thursday Amazon officially launched SmileCodes, a direct-scanning feature that takes consumers to product pages in the marketplace. The deal, cut with Hearst Magazines, is likely just the first of many moves to drive sales and partnerships across its retail and fashion business.
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