Amazon ended 2020 with a record quarter of 118% earnings per share and 44% revenue growth, ending up with the biggest numbers ever. AWS Cloud Chief Andy Yassi will replace Jeff Bezos as Amazon CEO in the third quarter of this year.
Amazon (AMZN) released its fourth-quarter financials for 2020 after trading closed on Tuesday, as well as the historic decision of founder Jeff Bezos to move from CEO CEO to strategic chairman.
Amazon shares, which have risen 68.65% over the past year, are higher on the news after the close of trading.
Jeff Bezos steps down as CEO but does not retire from the company
In a letter to employees, Jeff Bezos stated that he would be spending his time on “new products and early initiatives,” and that this is not retirement.
“As executive chairman, I will continue to be involved in important Amazon initiatives, but I will also have the time and energy it takes to focus on Day 1 Fund, Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.” – explained the founder. “I’ve never had that kind of energy and I’m not going to retire. I am very passionate about the impact that I think these organizations can have. “
Andy Yassi’s appointment as Amazon CEO seems logical as his cloud computing company, Amazon Web Services (AWS), has been growing steadily and generating the biggest profits from Amazon.
Yassi joined the company just after Amazon’s 1997 IPO and is Bezos’s longtime right-hand man. It is Yassi’s undoubted achievement that AWS has become the global leader in the cloud computing market, as he has been building the business from the ground up for nearly two decades. The transfer of the board into his hands will take place in the third quarter of 2021.
Amazon Q4 & All 2020 Report
The company posted a 118% rise in fourth-quarter earnings per share to $ 14.09, up $ 6.86 from analysts’ estimates of $ 7.23. Total quarterly profit more than doubled to $ 7.2 billion from $ 3.3 billion in the same quarter last year.
Amazon’s total revenue grew 44% to $ 125.6 billion, which is also well above the $ 119.7 billion analyst forecast. Amazon’s quarterly revenue and earnings statistics for the last 2 years are available here.
Amazon’s e-sales in the fourth quarter grew 46% year-over-year to $ 66.45 billion.
Amazon Web Services ‘cloud computing division grew 28% to $ 12.74 billion, but fell short of analysts’ forecasts of $ 12.83 billion.
Sales at Amazon’s physical stores, including Whole Foods Market, fell 8% to $ 4.02 billion as the pandemic pushed shoppers to shop online.
The Other segment of Amazon’s report, which mainly consists of digital ad revenue, generated $ 7.95 billion, up 66% from Q4 2019.
Amazon in 2020
For all of 2020, Amazon increased its revenues by 38% to $ 386.1 billion, with 12% of which came from AWS sales (the segment’s annual revenues grew 30% to $ 45.37 billion).
Amazon’s 2020 profit increased to $ 21.3 billion, up from $ 11.6 billion in 2019.
Amazon forecast for the first quarter of 2021
The company expects total revenues to range from $ 100.0 billion to $ 106.0 billion, implying 33-40% growth from the first quarter of 2020. Analysts’ expectations are more modest and amount to $ 95.8 billion.
Amazon also predicts operating income of $ 3.0 billion to $ 6.5 billion, up from $ 4.0 billion in the first quarter of 2020. This forecast assumes about $ 2.0 billion in COVID-19-related spending.