Amazon’s Q3 results have been released and the headline figure is that the company has seen its first quarterly loss in four years. Amazon lost $274m, much of which has been attributed to a $169m impairment charge on the value of its stake in LivingSocial. Earnings were $13.81bn, slightly below Wall Street predictions of $13.9bn. The company’s predictions for Q4 are also rather tepid.
As you’d expect, Jeff Bezos focused on the positives. He noted the success of the new Kindle devices, and argued that Amazon’s strategy is working. Unfortuantely, he didn’t back up this argument with any juicy details, so we’re left wondering exactly how many Kindles have been sold and exactly how well services such as AWS are performing. Amazon has traditionally been loathe to reveal such information, which makes it harder to unpick the finer details of its performance.
One final note: Amazon says that currency led to a $348m hit to the top line, which effectively accounts for the $274m lost and then some. As Amazon continues to expand globally, such issues are likely to become increasingly relevant to the final figures. Amazon still looks pretty strong in the long-term, and no-one’s panicking just yet. Still, Q4 figures will be watched closely for signs of an upturn.