Amazon.com Inc. decided to cut back after years of pouring money into growth, and the result was a second consecutive quarterly loss, but a beat on sales and continued strong growth from Amazon Web Services helped push the stock higher in after-hours trading Thursday. Amazon
reported a second-quarter loss of $2 billion, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $121.2 billion, after posting profit of 76 cents a share on revenue of $113.08 billion a year ago. The previous year’s results have been adjusted for Amazon’s 20-to-1 stock split, and the second-quarter results include a loss of $3.9 billion as a result of a valuation decline for an investment in Rivian Automotive Inc.
It is the first time Amazon has posted back-to-back quarterly losses since the second and third quarters of 2014.
Analysts on average expected Amazon to post earnings of 12 cents a share on sales of $119 billion, according to FactSet, after executives reported a surprising loss and a weaker-than-expected forecast three months ago and said they would cut costs. At that time, executives said that they had faced $6 billion in extra costs during the first quarter, with $2 billion as a result of declining productivity, and expected $4 billion in such costs in the second quarter as the cuts began. “Despite continued inflationary pressures in fuel, energy and transportation costs, we’re making progress on the more controllable costs we referenced last quarter, particularly improving the productivity of our fulfillment network,” Chief Executive Andy Jassy said in a statement included with the results Thursday, adding that “We’re also seeing revenue accelerate.” Amazon shares jumped 14% in after-hours trading following the release of the results. The stock has been pressured since Amazon reported its first quarterly loss in seven years, falling 16% in the past three months as the S&P 500 index
declined 6.2%. E-commerce dropped off as the world entered year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidenced by Amazon’s struggles to sup …