On April 30, Amazon Inc. announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2020. Here are the highlights:

  • Operating cash flow increased 16% to $39.7 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $34.4 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2019.
  • Free cash flow increased to $24.3 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $23.0 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2019.
  • Free cash flow less principal repayments of finance leases and financing obligations decreased to $14.3 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $15.1 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2019.
  • Free cash flow less equipment finance leases and principal repayments of all other finance leases and financing obligations decreased to $11.7 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $11.8 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2019.
  • Common shares outstanding plus shares underlying stock-based awards totalled 513 million on March 31, 2020, compared with 507 million one year ago.
  • Net sales increased 26% to $75.5 billion in the first quarter, compared with $59.7 billion in first quarter 2019. Excluding the $387 million unfavourable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 27% compared with first quarter 2019.
  • Operating income decreased to $4.0 billion in the first quarter, compared with operating income of $4.4 billion in first quarter 2019.
  • Net income decreased to $2.5 billion in the first quarter, or $5.01 per diluted share, compared with net income of $3.6 billion, or $7.09 per diluted share, in first quarter 2019.

“From online shopping to AWS to Prime Video and Fire TV, the current crisis is demonstrating the adaptability and durability of Amazon’s business as never before, but it’s also the hardest time we’ve ever faced,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “The service we provide has never been more critical, and the people doing the frontline work — our employees and all the contractors throughout our supply chain — are counting on us to keep them safe as they do that work. We’re not going to let them down. Providing for customers and protecting employees as this crisis continues for more months is going to take skill, humility, invention, and money. If you’re a shareowner in Amazon, you may want to take a seat, because we’re not thinking small. Under normal circumstances, in this coming Q2, we’d expect to make some $4 billion or more in operating profit. But these aren’t normal circumstances. Instead, we expect to spend the entirety of that $4 billion, and perhaps a bit more, on COVID-related expenses getting products to customers and keeping employees safe. This includes investments in personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning of our facilities, less efficient process paths that better allow for effective social distancing, higher wages for hourly teams, and hundreds of millions to develop our own COVID-19 testing capabilities. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, and the best investment we can make is in the safety and well-being of our hundreds of thousands of employees. I’m confident that our long-term oriented shareowners will understand and embrace our approach, and that in fact they would expect no less.”

COVID-19 has caused chaos for retailers. While rival brick-and-mortar retailers have had to shut stores, Amazon has hired 175,000 people. This quarter, with government-mandated lockdowns in full swing, Amazon said it could see a 28% rise in revenue to $81 billion. The retailer also forecast operating income will range from a loss of $1.5 billion to a profit of $1.5 billion, versus earnings of $3.1 billion in the same period a year prior.

Since mid-February, Amazon’s shares have risen by more than 10% including April 30th’s 5% after-hours drop, while the broader stock market has sunk. The company is increasing investments because of the novel coronavirus, said Kim Khan, U.S. markets analyst at Investing.com. “Amazon built its commanding position by spending all its cash to grow before it became the profit-making machine it is today. It’s doing the same thing during this lockdown period and will likely come out a winner again,” Khan said.

At the same time, Amazon is facing new labor risks. The virus has infected workers at dozens of locations, igniting small protests and prompting labor organizers to demand site closures. Amazon has rolled out masks and temperature checks to all its U.S. and European warehouses, announced software to monitor for social distancing and taken other measures to ensure it stays operational.

Source: Business Wire
Source: Business Today