Amazon breaks out cloud results for first time on Q1 earnings report

Analysts and shareholders have been waiting many moons for Amazon to finally reveal specifics about AWS quarterly revenue rather than just the "Other" column.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Amid a flurry of tech earnings this week (and some heavy hitters on Thursday alone), Amazon aimed for the spotlight with a major new development.

As promised last quarter, the Seattle-based corporations broke out quarterly revenue results for its greatly successful cloud department, Amazon Web Services, for the first time ever on its first quarter earnings report.

Defining it as a growing (actually "accelerating") department, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos revealed AWS to be a $5 billion business. But that $5 billion business quote refers to 2014 annual revenue.

If Amazon's first quarter plays out over the next three, AWS will have $6.26 billion in revenue for 2015. As for Q1 alone, AWS delivered approximately $1.57 billion in sales -- up from close to $1.1 billion the same quarter the previous year.

"Born a decade ago, AWS is a good example of how we approach ideas and risk-taking at Amazon," Bezos said in prepared remarks. "We strive to focus relentlessly on the customer, innovate rapidly, and drive operational excellence. We manage by two seemingly contradictory traits: impatience to deliver faster and a willingness to think long term."

Up until now, the AWS results had been surreptitiously filed away under the nondescript "Other" column.


Given AWS' run rate, it's almost as if cross-town rival Microsoft coordinated with its commercial cloud disclosure. Microsoft put its annual commercial cloud run rate at $6.3 billion.

Looking at Amazon as a whole, the online retail behemoth reported a net loss of $57 million, or 12 cents per share (statement).

On a non-GAAP basis, the loss was also 12 cents per share on a revenue of $22.72 billion, up 15 percent year-over-year.

Perhaps expecting a routine drop off following the highly-amped holiday quarter, Wall Street was bracing for a loss of 13 cents per share and $22.39 billion in revenue.

For the current quarter, Wall Street expects Amazon's loss to widen at 16 cents per share with $22.12 billion in revenue.

Amazon responded with a Q2 revenue guidance range of $20.6 billion to $22.8 billion, translating to growth between seven and 18 percent year-over-year.

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