Amazon Touts Prime Day as Q2 Net Sales Rise 20%

Amazon Touts Prime Day as Q2 Sales Rise 20%
Amazon fulfillment center

Fresh off a massively successful Prime Day event, Amazon posted financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, during which the e-tailer’s net sales leapt 20 percent to $63.4 billion, versus $52.9 billion in second quarter 2018. Excluding the $814 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, Amazon’s net sales rose 21 percent from the year-ago period.

The company’s operating income grew to $3.1 billion in the second quarter of 2019, versus $3 billion last year, while its net income increased to $2.6 billion in the second quarter of 2019, or $5.22 per diluted share, compared with net income of $2.5 billion, or $5.07 per diluted share, in second quarter 2018.

Amazon lauded its recent Prime Day sale, which took place July 15-16, as “once again the largest shopping event in Amazon history, with more than 1 million deals exclusively for Prime members,” adding that “sales surpassed the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.” In particular, the company noted that “Prime members received tens of millions of dollars in savings when shopping from Whole Foods Market and bought more than $2 billion of products from independent small and medium-sized businesses.” The company also said that the event represented the two biggest days ever for member signups.” 

Additional recent highlights included:

  • AmazonFresh’s expansion to Las Vegas with options for one- and two-hour delivery, and the introduction of an expanded selection of products, including thousands of grocery items, as well as best-selling items from
  • Continued expansion of grocery delivery from Whole Foods, with the service now available in almost 90 U.S. metro areas, offering Prime customers free delivery in as fast as an hour on thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced items
  • The opening of two Amazon Go stores, with a checkout-free experience enabled by the company’s Just Walk Out technology, in New York, bringing the number of locations to 13, with the others in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco

The company also began hiring for its new Arlington, Va., headquarters, with plans to hire 25,000 highly skilled employees over the next decade.

“Customers are responding to Prime’s move to one-day delivery — we’ve received a lot of positive feedback and seen accelerating sales growth,” noted Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Seattle-based Amazon. “Free one-day delivery is now available to Prime members on more than 10 million items, and we’re just getting started. A big thank-you to the team for continuing to make life easier for customers.” 

In its guidance for Q3 2019, the company anticipated net sales of between $66 billion and $70 billion, or up 17 percent to 24 percent, versus third quarter 2018, and anticipating an unfavorable impact of about 30 basis points from foreign exchange rates.

Some had reservations about the ecommerce giant’s financial outlook, however. As Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst at New York-based market research company eMarketer, observed: “Amazon has a decidedly mixed bag in Q2, with exceptional top-line revenue growth but some cause for concern on the bottom line. Increased costs for one-day delivery were baked in and likely helped on the top line, but the unexpected hit to profits came from the slowdown in the cloud business. Heightened competition from Microsoft and Google could really crimp this high-margin revenue stream over the next few quarters.”

Based in Seattle, Amazon has more than 575,000 employees worldwide. Under its Whole Foods Market banner, the company is No. 10 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States