Amazon Sees Strong Q1 Results Driven by Cloud-Computing Unit

Sales in the Company’s Online Advertising Business Also Spiked 24%, Partly From an Influx of Prime Video Ad Dollars
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Seattle-based e-commerce giant Amazon said it brought in $143.31 billion in revenue in the first three months of this year, a 13% jump compared with the same period last year. (Associated Press/Jenny Kane, File)

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NEW YORK — Amazon on April 30 reported strong results for the first quarter, driven by growth in its cloud-computing unit and a new surge of advertising dollars from its Prime Video streaming service.

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant said it brought in $143.31 billion in revenue in the first three months of this year, a 13% jump compared to the same period last year. Net income came out to $10.43 billion, or 98 cents per share. That soundly beat Wall Street analysts’ expectations for 84 cents a share, according to FactSet.

“It was a good start to the year across the business, and you can see that in both our customer experience improvements and financial results,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement. Inc. ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest logistics companies in North American and the TT Top 50 global freight companies list and No. 9 on the TT Top 100 private carriers list.

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The nation’s biggest online retailer is coming off better-than-expected results for the holiday shopping period, when it saw strong consumer spending aided by discounts and faster shipping speeds. Amazon held another discount event in late March, right before the end of the first quarter.

Aside from its core retail business, Amazon said first-quarter sales in its cloud-computing unit, Amazon Web Services, amounted to $25.04 billion, up 17% from the same period last year.

Sales in the company’s online advertising business also spiked 24%, partly driven by an influx of ad dollars coming from Prime Video. After years of giving Prime subscribers ad-free access to their favorite movies and TV shows, Amazon implemented a new policy in late January that lets viewers avoid ads only if they pay an additional $2.99 a month.

Shares in Inc. rose 3% in after-hours trading.

The company says it expects to post net sales between $144 billion and $149 billion during the second quarter. Analysts are expecting $150.2 billion, according to FactSet.