The e-retailer reports a $7 million net loss from higher spending on fulfillment, technology and marketing.
Thad Rueter , Senior Editor
Amazon.com Inc. today reported a 22% year-over-year revenue increase in the second quarter, along with a $7 million net loss as the retailer boosted spending in such areas as marketing, technology and fulfillment. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
• Net sales of $15.70 billion, a 22.4% increase from $12.83 billion in the same quarter last year.
• North American net sales of $9.495 billion, up 29.6% from $7.326 billion for the second quarter of 2012. North America accounted for 60.4% of sales in the second quarter of 2013, compared with about 57.0% in the same period last year.
• International net sales totaled $6.209 billion, up 12.7% from $5.508 billion in 2012. International accounted for 39.5% of sales in the second quarter, compared with approximately 43.0% last year.
• Worldwide sales of books, music and videos increased 6.7% to $4.397 billion from $4.119 billion, while electronics and other general merchandise increased 27.6% to $10.415 billion from $8.161 billion in the same period last year.
• Net loss of $7 million compared with net income of $7 million in the same period last year.
• Operating income of $79 million, down 26.1% from $107 million year over year.
• Spending on marketing increased 25.7% to $675 million from $537 million in the second quarter of 2012.
• Spending on technology and content increased 46.6% to $1.586 billion from $1.082 billion.
• Spending on fulfillment increased 35.5% to $1.837 billion from $1.356 billion.
• General and administrative spending increased 23.2% year over year to $286 million from $232 million.
In a statement, CEO Jeff Bezos focused on Amazon’s efforts in digital content and Kindle devices.
“This past quarter, our top 10 selling items worldwide were all digital products—Kindles, Kindle Fire HDs, accessories and digital content,” he says. “Prime Instant Video has surpassed 40,000 titles.” Amazon Prime is the retailer’s two-day shipping program, offered for $79 per year; Prime Instant Video refers to the digital content that Prime members also receive.
The Q2 results indicate that sales taxes have not harmed Amazon, says one analyst. Amazon in the past had opposed a new federal law on sales tax collection, but recently has started to support it in recent years as part of deals to expand its distribution centers across multiple states. "We note that the healthy domestic business should help dispel some lingering concerns over sales tax collection in the U.S.," writes Colin Sebastian, an analyst with R.W. Baird Equity Research.
During a conference call with investors Thursday, Amazon officials repeatedly declined to give specifics about the progress of AmazonFresh, the retailer's same-day grocery delivery service that recently expanded to Los Angeles after launching in Seattle. Analysts, though, are anticipating another expansion of the program. The e-retailer already offers same-day delivery, which it calls Local Express Delivery, in 10 other markets: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, the New York metropolitan area, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
"The company has announced 5 new domestic fulfillment centers that are opening relatively close to major metropolitan areas (NY, San Francisco and San Antonio/Austin), which we think is a step toward further improving shipping times and potentially expanding Fresh or same-day delivery services," reads a research note on Friday from Wells Fargo Securities.
For the year to date, Amazon reported:
• Net sales of $31.774 billion, a 22.1% increase from $26.019 billion in the same quarter last year.
• North American net sales of $18.886 billion, up 28.0% from $14.754 billion for the second quarter of 2012.
• International net sales totaled $12.888 billion, up 14.4% from $11.265 billion in 2012.
• Worldwide sales of books, music and videos increased 7.1% to $9.455 billion from $8.828 billion, while electronics and other general merchandise increased 27.8% to $20.629 billion from $16.136 billion in the same period last year.
• Net income of $75 million compared with net income of $137 million in the same period last year.
• Spending on marketing increased 28.5% to $1.307 billion from $1.017 billion in the second quarter of 2012.
• Spending on technology and content increased 46.5% to $2.969 billion from $2.027 billion.
• Spending on fulfillment increased 37.0% to $3.633 billion from $2.651 billion.
• General and administrative spending increased 22.9% year over year to $531 million from $432 million.