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Amazon announces revenues of $170bn for peak Christmas period

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Amazon has announced revenues of $170 billion in the final quarter of 2023 thanks to a boost in Christmas shopping.

The retail giant’s financial results beat analysts’ expectations and sent shares soaring by more than 8 percent in after-hours trading.

Revenue in the fourth quarter rose by 14% compared to the same period last year. Analysts on average expected revenue of $166.21 billion, according to LSEG data.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is the largest cloud services unit in the world, brought in revenue of $24.2 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with analysts’ expectations of $24.26 billion.

Amazon – whose founder and chairman Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $183.41 billion – had its earnings bolstered by consumer spending over Christmas.

In what is seen as a boost to e-commerce firms, households splurged on goods and services over the holidays, despite high interest rates, a reports showed last week.

Meanwhile, growth at Alphabet and Microsoft’s cloud units beat market expectations as customers wanted to test new AI features and build them for their own applications.

The company forecast current-quarter revenue in the range of $138 billion and $143.5 billion. Analysts polled by LSEG were expecting revenue of $142.13 billion.

Net income rose to $10.6 billion in the fourth quarter from $278 million, a year earlier.

It comes as Meta shares also soared 15 percent in extended trading after the company tripled its profit and posted sharply higher revenue in the final quarter of 2023.

The California-based tech giant announced it earned $14 billion, or $5.33 per share, from October to December last year – up from $4.65 billion, or $1.76 per share, a year prior.

Revenue, meanwhile, jumped 25 percent in the quarter to $40.11 billion. This was up from $32.2 billion a year earlier – the fastest growth for any period since mid-2021 – as its online ad market continued to rebound.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement: ‘We had a good quarter as our community and business continue to grow. We’ve made a lot of progress on our vision for advancing AI and the metaverse.’

The company, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, also announced its first ever quarterly dividend of 50 cents a share and an additional $50 billion in share buybacks.

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