Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Amazon Delivers: Revenue, Earnings in Line, Bezos MIA for Conference Call

bezos_shoeAmazon’s Q2 was just what Wall Street was expecting–which in Wall Street’s perverse logic means that Wall Street will be disappointed. Amazon delivered net sales of $4.65 billion and earnings of 32 cents per share; consensus called for $4.67 billion and 32 cents.

Operating income could be a problem, though: Factoring out foreign exchange swings and a one-time charge, Amazon delivered pro forma operating income of $240 million, and Wall Street was looking for something like $260 million.

As Henry Blodget points out, Amazon’s North America media sales (books, CDs, DVDs, etc.) have flat-lined in the last year. This is what that looks like in graph form (click to enlarge):


Now listening to the stultifying earnings call, which does not feature Jeff Bezos. Assuming there’ll be questions about the Zappos deal; I also assume that Amazon (AMZN) won’t have much to say about it beyond the announcement it put out yesterday. But I’ll add in any highlights below.

Q. Mary Meeker wants to know if Amazon is seeing a slowdown in media sales due to the transition to digital. She’s also interested in the possibility that mobile could be a big deal.

A. Media is slow, but it doesn’t seem to be related to digital. Still very early, and Amazon is seeing good unit growth there (Kindle, MP3 store, movie service). Not much to say about mobile.

Q. Any plans to take Kindle overseas?

A. Nonanswer.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work