Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) late Thursday posted a 21% year-over-year increase in fourth-quarter 2019 revenue to $87.4 billion, exceeding its most bullish top-line projections. But the big story was on the bottom line.
Amazon posted net income of $3.3 billion, or $6.47 per diluted share, blowing away analysts’ median estimates of $3.98 a share on Barchart. Amazon’s share price took off in after hours trading Thursday, rising as much as $235 a share to decisively breach the $2,000-a-share mark during the first 45 minutes of trading. As of 6 PM ET, shares were up $202 a share.
Fourth-quarter operating income increased to $3.9 billion from $3.8 billion, Amazon said.
For the year, revenue rose 20% to $280.5 billion. Excluding a $2.6 billion hit on currency fluctuations, revenue rose 22% over full-year 2018 totals, Amazon said. Operating income increased to $14.5 billion from $12.4 billion, while net income rose to $11.6 billion, or $23.01 per diluted share, compared with $10.1 billion, or $20.14 per diluted share, in 2018, the company reported.
Amazon rang up a $12.9 billion shipping tab for the quarter, 43% higher than in the year-earlier quarter. The company spent $1.5 billion last quarter to support its shift to free one-day shipping, which was rolled out first to U.S. subscribers to its “Prime” service, but will be expanded internationally throughout 2020. The fourth-quarter spend was slightly less than expected, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said on an analyst call late Thursday.
Amazon announced the launch of one-day shipping last spring, and through the second and third quarters had spent about $1.8 billion to support it. First-quarter costs for one-day shipping will come in at about $1 billion, Olsavsky said.
Prime has about 150 million members globally. Amazon signed up more Prime members last quarter than in any quarter since it launched the service in 2005.
The company will increase its spending on fulfillment and transportation services in 2020, said Olsavsky, without giving an estimate. The higher spending will come to support a denser warehouse and distribution center footprint to move products closer to end customers, he said.
Amazon has increased its fulfillment and transport spend by 15% in each of the past two years.