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Amazon has responded with an array of precautions and a virus testing program for employees that have helped the company stay operational. For the third quarter, it garnered sales of US$96.1 billion, ahead of analysts’ average estimate of US$92.7 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive and richest person in the world, said in a press release, “We’re seeing more customers than ever shopping early for their holiday gifts, which is just one of the signs that this is going to be an unprecedented holiday season.”
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has traditionally been a bright spot. The cloud computing division has seen sales rise with demand for gaming and remote work. The unit increased revenue 29 per cent to US$11.6 billion, roughly in line with estimates.
The question for some analysts has been whether Amazon’s consumer division can keep up with still-growing purchases during a pandemic and peak holiday shopping season.
The company has long worked to avoid a repeat of the 2013 season when delays left some without presents on Christmas Day. Amazon now handles more deliveries in house, and this year it moved its marketing event Prime Day – usually in July – to October, letting customers place holiday orders early.
Amazon said it expects net sales of US$112 billion to US$121 billion for the fourth quarter. That would mark the company’s first over US$100 billion and is ahead of analysts’ expectations of US$112.3 billion.
© Thomson Reuters 2020