Amazon Falls After Missing Sales Forecast (NASDAQ:AMZN)

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Priming Alphabet's newer ventures has been costly in terms of marketing and hiring, with about 5,300 employees added in the third quarter. The midpoint of its guidance calls for 15% revenue growth.

The 9-per-cent fall in shares knocked more than $80 billion off Amazon's market value and relegated it behind Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc in terms of market value. The selloff wiped out the stock's strong gains earlier in the day in the regular session. Analysts were looking for $57.1 billion. It was the second consecutive quarter that sales fell short of estimates and the first time for the back-to-back revenue miss in nearly four years. "And when you're trading on 70 times expected earnings, it doesn't take much to jolt the share price". Analysts estimated profit of US$3.11 a share.

Global revenue, however, came in at $15.5 billion, significantly below Wall Street's consensus estimate of $16.5 billion, signaling an unexpected slowdown in Amazon sales overseas.

For years, Amazon has made expensive bets on new technology and programs, like its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017 to storm the US grocery industry.

Q4 EPS (forecast): The company didn't provide specific earnings guidance for the holiday period. That figure, which represents full-time and part-time workers but excludes contractors and temporary personnel, is up from 575,700 last quarter and 541,900 a year ago.

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Investors' focus will be on the company's performance in its Web Services business, which is expected to be a major boost to the company's profitability. This time a year ago the Seattle, WA-based tech giant kept less than $300 million as profit. Sales in North America jumped 35 percent to $34.3 billion. Earnings from the segment surged to $2 billion from just $112 million in the third quarter past year. A big reason behind that was the absorption of Whole Foods Market and the 87,000 people who work there.

Perhaps more worrisome to investors, Amazon said revenue in the current quarter, which includes the holiday season, will come in between $66.5 billion and $72.5 billion, which translates into a year-over-year growth rate between 10% and 20%.

Amazon also benefitted from strong sales of its Prime subscription program.

Amazon published its third quarter financial results on Thursday, beating earnings estimates but falling short on revenue.

Amazon is a company that seems to be midway through a transformation meant to bring soaring profitability via improving margin on the back of its truly staggering sales run rates.