It's the second time Amazon's quarterly profit has topped $1 billion.
Amazon, founded 24 years ago as a online bookseller, has grown into a multi-billion-dollar tech juggernaut with a hand in number of industries, including groceries, private-label clothing and movie production. The company's commitment to profitability struck a cord with investors, sending the stock up more than 6 percent during after-hours trading on the Nasdaq. Analysts were expecting $1.27 a share.
In January, Amazon increased the monthly Prime membership fee from $10.99 to $12.99.
Amazon shares closed Thursday up almost 4 percent to $1,517.96. Analysts estimated operating income of $1.13 billion of operating income and sales of $52.3 billion.More news: Facebook Exceeds Forecasts In First Quarter, So Much For #DeleteFacebook
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The last time the annual fee was increased was four years ago.
He noted that the company is seeing "rises in cost" for providing Prime services, which include shipping perks and video streaming. The company plans to spend more on video content this year. On Thursday, it announced with the National Football League a renewed agreement for Amazon to exclusively stream Thursday night football games to Prime subscribers. "It is important to us that they all are still delighting customers and growing to the best of their ability", Brian Olsavsky, CFO of Amazon said in a conference call after announcing the results.
Meanwhile there was a surge in revenues for cloud computing arm Amazon Web Services (AWS), up 49% to $5.4bn. Amazon has relentlessly invested in its logistics network and even runs some of its own delivery trucks alongside UPS and FedEx. "That's why you're seeing this remarkable acceleration in AWS growth, now for two quarters in a row", CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.
The research firm eMarketer said online commerce represents about 60% of Amazon's business but that it also will generate $3.37 billion in global advertising this year.