Amazon Q3: sales up 24% but still at a loss

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amazonAmazon grew strongly in the third quarter of 2013, reporting a total of $17.09bn sales globally which gave it a solid 7% share boost in after-hours trading on Thursday.

But despite all this, it still managed to post a $41m loss on the quarter all told. This represents the second consecutive quarter of loss and in Q4 further losses are forecast to the tune of $500m, according to some analysts.

None of this should be particularly surprising to Amazon watchers. The company continues to invest considerable sums in not just infrastructure, like warehousing and distribution, but also pet projects such as the Kindle, video-streaming services and also cloud technology.

And fear not, they’ve got plenty squirreled away. Apparently, there’s $7.7bn in cash and similar at hand if they need any help. The Amazon ain’t gonna run dry anytime soon.

The results make a stark contrast to eBay’s and that’s because eBay doesn’t meddle with the business of fulfillment or holding stock. It’s not a retailer in any sense where Amazon is. But it’s making moves that way. eBay’s purchase this week of courier marketplace Shutl brings it closer to an Amazon model. But not that close.

All eyes are now on how good a Christmas Amazon has. Q4 is the vital quarter for any retailer online or offline, and the predictions (despite the anticipated loss) look good. Gross sales of $23.5bn and $26.5bn are expect, representing a 10 – 25% increase year on year.

5 Responses

  1. Ive been watching this stock climb and climb now for ages. Standing to the side thinking its over priced.

    I would not buy ebay stock, But its pretty much stagnated around 50USD.

    Comparing amazon to ebay as many people do, its really like apples and oranges.

    Our sales have gone from strength to strength on amazon and have fallen seriously on ebay.

    We no longer really consider the ebay market place when designing and purchasing products, because its just not that important to us anymore. Wheras it was all we ever considered a few years ago.

  2. I am the same. I now only buy an item if it is right for Amazon. If it sells on ebay too, then that is a bonus.

  3. Same as the above 2 posters. Nowadays any sales we make on eBay are viewed as a ‘bonus’ whereas 4 years ago it was our principle platform.

    Due to time and effort required and the headaches caused I doubt we’ll bother with eBay at all in the near future.

  4. I think ebay are pretty blind to the facts.

    Amazon offers same day delivery, because it has multiple warehouses, despatch systems and some of the best web servers and other techs in the industry. As well as being one of the worlds largest online retailers. Whilst they offer same day delivery, they dont expect 3rd party sellers too, or punish them for a slower dispatch like ebay do. Instead the they state the despatch time very clearly for all to do and re-enforce it via the order system.

    eBays answer is to buy Shutl and invent the ‘get it fast’ and ‘trs’ logos. The other attempt was to get sellers to use royal mail dispatch directly via ebay. Only they forgot one thing, discount and incentive. If they had passed saving on it might of worked. But chose to pocket the money.

    ebay needs to get real about what kind of business they are, how to help sellers fill demand for products within thier own domestic market (than boosting some chinese seller, because taobao auctions are killing ebay in china) and realise they are not amazon and focus on there own strengths.

    If it wasnt for paypal. Id see ebay stock falling a good 10-15%

  5. For us as well eBay is dead, one day turnover on Amazon is almost one month on eBay, also with higher margin. We also view eBay as a bouns never bother the chasing price down with others.

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