Amazon shares up seven per cent after Q1 earnings beat expectations

Tim Maytom

Amazon's share price rose seven per cent in after-hours trading following the release of its Q1 financial results, which saw the online retailer once again beat expectations with $1.6bn (£1.16bn) in net income, up from $724m last year.

Net sales increased 43 per cent year-on-year, up to $51bn in Q1, although this included a $1.6bn favourable impact from year-on-year changes in foreign exchange rates. Excluding that, sales were still up an impressive 39 per cent.

As in previous quarters, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos focused on the firm's web services division with his comments, which brought in $1.4bn in income for the firm, accounting for 11 per cent of Amazon's total revenue and up 49 per cent year-on-year.

"AWS had the unusual advantage of a seven-year head start before facing like-minded competition, and the team has never slowed down," said Bezos. "As a result, the AWS services are by far the most evolved and most functionality-rich. AWS lets developers do more and be nimbler, and it continues to get even better every day. That's why you're seeing this remarkable acceleration in AWS growth, now for two quarters in a row."

Overall revenues for the firm sat at $51.04bn, comfortably above the $49.78bn that Wall Street had forecast, and a 43 per cent increase from the same time last year. North American business, which accounts for 60 per cent of Amazon's overall sales, was up 46 per cent, while international revenue, which makes up 29 per cent of the business, was up 34 per cent.

Amazon also revealed that it has maintained the rights to stream Thursday Night Football games for another two years. The contract renewal will bring 11 NFL games to the firm's Prime video offering for both the 2018 and 2019 seasons, simulcasting with coverage on Fox.

Amazon's 2017 deal with the NFL was said to be valued at around $50m, and brought in 18m viewers. No price has been declared for this latest contract, but Amazon was reportedly up against other big digital players including YouTube, Verizon and Twitter when it came to bidding.