Amazon meets Q1 targets as Bezos boasts 'kinetic' start to 2014

Summary:Wall Street was looking for earnings of 23 cents per share on a revenue of $19.43 billion.

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Following reports that it is gearing up to deploy its own delivery network, Amazon reported first quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday.

The tech giant reported a net income of $108 million, or 23 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 23 cents per share on a revenue of $19.74 billion, up 23 percent year-over-year.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 23 cents per share on a revenue of $19.43 billion.

CEO Jeff Bezos reflected on the first quarter in prepared remarks, boasting a "kinetic start" to 2014:

Our device team launched Fire TV, offering great content, including our recently announced exclusive deal with HBO, and innovative features like unified voice search, which we’re delighted is being adopted by so many new partners, including Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Crackle and Showtime Anytime. The team is working hard to keep Fire TV in stock. Our retail team launched Prime Pantry, a new option available only to Prime members offering exclusive access to everyday essentials in non-bulk sizes — ranging from breakfast foods and popular soft drinks, to cleaning and personal care items. And, our AWS team significantly lowered prices on EC2, S3 and RDS, saving AWS customers hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several months alone.

For the current quarter, Wall Street expects Amazon to deliver earnings of 24 cents per share on a revenue of $19.03 billion. Amazon followed up with a revenue guidance range of $18.1 billion to $19.8 billion.

Amazon has been busy lately, from unveiling new hardware to further pushing its Coins digital currency to inking a major deal with HBO to bolster Amazon Prime.

On the cloud front, Amazon slashed rates again ... and again , helping reignite competition with other vendors such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM, among others.

Amazon also picked up authorization by the U.S. Department of Defense , meaning the Seattle-based company can serve more government agencies and contractors -- an increasingly lucrative front.

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Here are a few more highlights from Amazon's Q1:

  • Prime Instant Video streams nearly tripled year-over-year.
  • AWS expanded Activate program to bring more startups to the cloud platform. AWS also made the desktop-as-a-service WorkSpaces and AppStream hosting resource for developers generally available.
  • Amazon acquired digital comic book publisher comiXology. The deal should close by the end of the second quarter.
  • Internationally, Amazon Student debuted in the United Kingdom while Amazon Publishing expanded into one of Amazon's largest markets overseas, Germany, thanks to additional language support in German.

Note that many of these accomplishments are quite broad, and even difficult to discern, given that Amazon famously does not break out sales numbers for many of its departments.

Chart via Amazon Investor Relations

Topics: Cloud, Amazon, Apps, E-Commerce, Enterprise 2.0

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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