Amazon’s Sales Jump as Coronavirus Prompts Surge in Online Shopping

From The Wall Street Journal:

Amazon.com Inc. reported soaring quarterly sales as the company experienced a surge in online orders from homebound customers contending with the coronavirus pandemic.

The tech giant said Thursday that revenue rose 26% from a year earlier to $75.5 billion in the three months through March—by far the highest on record for what is usually Amazon’s slowest period of the year. The boom in sales came at a cost, though, as profit fell 29% from a year earlier to $2.5 billion, well short of analysts’ average estimate of $3.26 billion, according to a survey by FactSet. Operating profit for the quarter also missed the estimate Amazon gave in January.

The results, which follow relatively robust earnings reports by several other big tech companies in recent days, reflect the central role Amazon has played during the coronavirus crisis, delivering goods to people stranded at home by government shelter-in-place orders. The surge in online buying taxed Amazon’s fulfillment centers, which saw unprecedented volumes for this part of the year. In response, Amazon temporarily stopped taking inventory for products deemed nonessential and announced plans to hire 175,000 more staffers for its warehouses and delivery network. Amazon said it ended the quarter with 840,000 employees.

. . . .

Amazon’s booming sales stand in stark contrast to many companies across the U.S. economy, which shrank in the first quarter at its fastest pace since the last recession. Investors had sent the Seattle company’s stock price up nearly 34% this year through Thursday’s close, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 15% and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down about 1%.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (PG apologizes for the paywall, but hasn’t figured out a way around it.)

PG suspects that Amazon’s reliability and credibility as a seller will be enhanced in the eyes of most buyers going forward.

If he is correct, the “Don’t Buy from Nasty Amazon” meme so beloved by Big Publishing and many physical bookstores is going to lose even more credibility in the future.

During the past several weeks, PG certainly appreciated the doorbell at Casa PG ringing and finding an Amazon box containing items he couldn’t find locally sitting outside his front door with social distancing fully intact.