Amazon's Q1 solid, 'other' AWS sales surge

Other revenue in the first quarter was $798 million, up 59 percent from $500 million a year ago. "Other" roughly equates to Amazon Web Services.

Amazon's first quarter earnings were better-than-expected, sales were a smidge light and the outlook was in the ballpark. In other words, the quarter was good enough relative to expectations going into the financial report.

The company reported first quarter earnings of $82 million, or 18 cents a share, on revenue of $16.07 billion. Wall Street was looking for earnings of 8 cents a share on revenue of $16.14 billion.

Amazon also said in recent a statement that it generated $177 million in free cash flow in the first quarter, down 85 percent from a year ago.

CEO Jeff Bezos touted the company’s Amazon Studios as a way to get more Prime subscribers. The company also highlighted Amazon Web Services.

As for the outlook, Amazon projected revenue between $14.5 billion and $16.2 billion and an operating loss of $340 million to a profit of $10 million in the second quarter. The sales range was roughly in line with expectations, but is so wide that it's not much to go on.

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By the numbers:

  • Other revenue in the first quarter was $798 million, up 59 percent from $500 million a year ago. "Other" roughly equates to Amazon Web Services. Almost all of that other revenue came from North America.
  • Product sales were $13.27 billion. 
  • Services sales were $2.8 billion in the first quarter, up from $1.94 billion a year ago. 
  • Technology and content spending spiked to $1.38 billion, up from $945 million a year ago as Amazon cut video deals.
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