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Amazon Makes a Profit

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the satan-ordered-a-book-on-freezing-hell-apparently dept.

News 311

sofar writes: "Amazon finally makes a profit. Well, only $ 5mln, but maybe you can actually earn something on your stock now. At 1c a share it's no pension fund in Florida yet." I wonder how much of that profit represents 1-click licensing fees.

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Bet the Jews are happy! (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884777)

Fist Sport???

AMERICA ATTACKED -- AGAIN (-1, Offtopic)

Lord of The Trolls (553045) | more than 12 years ago | (#2885012)

Terrorists have attacked the United States again.

The White House, the Capitol Building, and the United Nations building are smoldering in ruins. Thousands of government officials are dead.

There are reports of further attacks in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and Miami. Rumors are surfacing that the heart of Los Angeles was attacked using multiple 10-ton ammonium nitrate truck bombs detonated in multiple locations.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney are believed dead in the White House destruction.

Nuclear strikes have been launched by the United States military against the Phillipines, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Somolia. All of these countries have been hit by at least five Titan II ICBM's and millions are believed to be dead.

Martial law has been declared and the media outlets have agreed under force to continue normal programming. Government officials who weren't killed in the attacks are now attempting to run the country from the bunkers under the White House.

I suggest you all stop what you are doing and spend some time with your families, because quite frankly, World War 3 is upon us.

More details to come.

first goat (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884778)

first goat [bearcountryusa.com]

Re:first goat (-1, Offtopic)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884784)

Wow. It really is a goat. INts not even having sex!!! Kudos to you, sir!!

Re:first goat (-1)

Carp Flounderson (542291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884852)

Oh its still dirty... he's got that look in his eye... you know he's just thinking about mounting the camera man.

Re:first goat (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884910)

Those pics are in the 'pay' section.

Ladies and Gentlemen... (3, Funny)

AmbivaLence (553056) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884779)

Hell has finally frozen over... Good day.

Re:Ladies and Gentlemen... (5, Funny)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884955)

...and thank freaking God for that. Hasn't anybody else been the least bit scared at the lack of Internet growth lately? For years I told friends that I was proud to be part of this new technology, whether it be a cornerstone of the economy or not. However, these past two years I've kind of shrugged off the comments "Bet that Computer Science degree is worth a bunch now!"

All it took was some good old common sense. Stop spending money you don't have. Price-cut, but don't price-cut to the point that you knock your company out. Lay off the cheap sock-puppet gimmicks.

The analysts are wrong: it is a new economy. It's just that the same old rules still apply.

Not really a profit (0, Informative)

drb1001 (197669) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884780)

Yeah, but it was EBITA - earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization. In other words, they didn't count a bunch of stuff.

In their defense, they said they hoped to have positive EBITA -- their projection was not (yet) for real earnings.

Re:Not really a profit (4, Informative)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884837)

No, it wasn't pro forma. It was a real net profit. Read the articles again. In fact, their pro forma profit was $35M.

Re:Not really a profit (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884841)

No, the GAAP Earnings were $5mm (0.01 EPS) and their "Pro Forma Net Earnings" were $59mm (0.09 EPS). I think this crocked up "Pro Forma" number is what you're referring to. I don't know what's pro forma about it anyhow since D&A and stock options are all ongoing exenses, and not one time items.

I CLAIM THIS FIRST POST! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884781)

I hearby claim this first post for the glorious Queen of Spain! May her mighty bossoms rule over the world for all eternity!!

Re:I CLAIM THIS FIRST POST! (-1)

spankles (90922) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884821)

best...post...ever...

Isn't this... (2, Redundant)

NecroPuppy (222648) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884782)

A sign of the Apololypse?

Like AOL/TW suing, say, Microsoft?

Oh, wait...

What to do with the riches? (4, Funny)

Mahtar (324436) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884785)

At 5c a share it's no pension fund in Florida yet

No, but I hear Enron is looking for buyers.

Re:What to do with the riches? (1)

kitts (545683) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884836)

Ooooooh. Good one.

5 cents or 1 cent? (1)

cam_macleod (59140) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884788)

I know it's hard to keep track of all this info, but a whole lot of stories have basic errors in them. WHere do we draw the line between simply printing what was submitted and fixing errors?

Congratulations! (5, Funny)

kitts (545683) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884790)

Of course, if you gave me billions of dollars in venture capital I could probably find a way to give you back $5 million too.

Re:Congratulations! (2, Funny)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884961)

A lousy bank account would beat that. The question is, how many DECADES will it take for them to get above a 3% increase?

Great! (2)

dotderf (548723) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884791)

Despite their lame patents, Amazon is still one of the best places to get books on the internet. Part of their sucess could be their dealings with brick and mortar stores, like Borders [borders.com] . I also like the fact that I can pick up music that I can't find elsewhere like (quick plug) Dispatch [dispatchmusic.com] . I'm glad this recession doesn't have them belly up.

Re:Great! (5, Insightful)

2Bits (167227) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884886)

[DISCLAIMER: I own Amazon stock, and I still believe that a company that provides good customer services can't be bad, so I'm holding onto it]

Agreed.

As much as I hate about their one-click patent, Amazon is best place for books and other stuffs. Their recommendation feature is excellent. I found out a lot of authors that I would have known otherwise. And the service is first class. If only other companies would care so much about service quality too....

Sure, Amazon has been losing tons of money, but you have to give credit to the company for very good forcast of their target. They have been very good at being on the mark in the past.

Now, if Jeff Bezos commits to more consistent customer privacy policy, I would be a really happy customer (and shareholder too).

What do you give up for good book service? (4, Interesting)

pigeonhed (137303) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884931)

So what is the cost to you for that good book service. Amazon's patents are exactly why I do not order from them. I did order from them alittle over two years ago and yes they are excellent at what they do. That said, noway am I buying from them. There agressive patent tactics leave me feeling dirty when at there website.

Just my view.

Die Amazon, DIE (0)

hugecyberpenis (552363) | more than 12 years ago | (#2885019)

1 quarter of profit? No projection of a *yearly* profit in sight? Enron doesn't have a monopoly on online retailers!

Good to see--with reservations (2)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884792)

Even if it is Amazon, it's good to see the .com model does produce profit.

I just hope they didn't earn a profit from selling customer data, the infamous 1-click patent, and all the other dirty tricks.

Re:Good to see--with reservations (1)

nuetron (550224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884858)

Agree bout time for some good news

Re:Good to see--with reservations (1)

The Gardener (519078) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884873)


No, they got it from Europe

Sales growth was strongest in Amazon's international segment -- its United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan Web sites -- rising 81% to $262.4 million.

The Gardener

Dot-com model? (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884974)

What the hell are you talking about? They are actually SELLING things which people might actually WANT, and be willing to pay for, and presenting said things in a manner that makes it easy to find what you are looking for.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most people think "ad revenue" when you say "dot-com model?"

Jaded? (5, Funny)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884793)

I wonder how much of that profit represents 1-click licensing fees.

Jaded? Party of one? Your table's ready...

Re:Jaded? (1)

NerdSlayer (300907) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884812)

I agree.

If only chrisd's posts could be modded down...

Re:Jaded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884833)

Timothy too, with his DMCA paranoia in EVERY FRIGGIN' STORY!

Re:Jaded? (1)

wsloand (176072) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884984)

It can be. Check your preferences page and you can turn off stories by any author.

Re:Jaded? (2)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884973)

It'd be better to put him in a 2-seater next to Compulsive.

Porn (5, Informative)

astrotek (132325) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884794)

Meanwhile, porn sites have been making money since a text drawing of a tit was placed on usenet.

Re:Porn (5, Interesting)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884848)

Off-topic from article, but. . .

The latest issue of Wired has an interesting article on just how hard it is to make money selling porn on the Internet. The market is saturated, so new-comers are pretty much shut out.

Even the old dogs are having a difficult time making money. When sites like drbizzaro.com and its partners give away so much product for free, you have to offer a pretty compelling product, or cater to a very specific niche to make money.

Re:Porn (-1, Offtopic)

kgbguy (553028) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884941)

Here [goatse.cx] 's your tits, ma'am.

proof of concept for amazon? (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884970)

but the question i have is this:

is this really proof that amazon's business model is sound?

oh please (5, Insightful)

ChannelX (89676) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884796)

I can't believe people. Amazon posts a profit for the first time (and on a reasonable time schedule in the real world) and then someone complains that it's not a big enough profit. What did the submitter expect? a 1-billion dollar windfall? considering the state of the US economy at the moment the fact that amazon made a profit is even better.

Re:oh please (1)

AmbivaLence (553056) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884818)

I think that for the sake of the economy, and just for gp, we should hope that soon many other .com's can say in honesty that they too are actually generating profit instead of hyping up their stock.

Not really an accurate measurement (-1, Insightful)

amphiskios (520478) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884798)

Please keep in mind this profit is measured pro forma, a measurement not even recognized by most investors. It's still a milestone for Amazon, though.

Re:Not really an accurate measurement (2)

Bullschmidt (69408) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884828)

Not true. The pro forma profits were $35 million (from about the middle of the article). A quote:

Excluding those expenses, the e-tailer's pro forma profits topped estimates handily, reaching $35 million, or 9 cents a share. According to First Call, Amazon was expected to lose 7 cents a share, excluding goodwill, on sales of $1.01 billion.

Re:Not really an accurate measurement (1)

kochsr (144988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884906)

it amazes me that you can sell 1 billion dollars worth of stuff and still lose money

Incorrect (2, Interesting)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884875)

The story says the profit is net profit according to generally accepted accounting principles. (Of course the real scandal is that many companies are choosing to ignore GAAP in favor of the "pro forma" crap you discuss, but it doesn't apply here.)

Re:Not really an accurate measurement (3, Redundant)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884887)

No, if you read the article instead of applying your pre-formed assumptions, you'll find that the profit was under generally accepted accounting principles. The pro forma profit was even higher. Amazon beat out the expectations of the naysayers.

These are NOT pro forma profits (1)

fetta (141344) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884930)

"Please keep in mind this profit is measured pro forma, a measurement not even recognized by most investors. It's still a milestone for Amazon, though."

The profits being reported are NOT pro forma. See this quote from the CNN.com [cnn.com] story:


Amazon didn't even have to resort to controversial pro forma accounting methods. It posted a net profit of $5 million, or 1 cent a share, for the quarter, using standard accounting methods.

Great Moderation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884935)

Please keep in mind this profit is measured pro forma

Doesn't read the article or even understand the point of the story, ie that Amazon makes its first real (ie not pro forma) profit, and gets marked up as insightful ... great going!

Darn... (4, Funny)

Mike Schiraldi (18296) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884800)

I would have submitted this first, but i was hit by a flying pig on the way to my computer..

Re:Darn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884838)

It's snowing! Break out the skis!

--
Pius III

Re:Darn... (3, Funny)

shinji1911 (238955) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884860)

Personally, I would have too, but I'm too busy trying to get the @##(*@! snowblower to start down here in hell.

Not 5c per share (1, Redundant)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884801)

But 1c per share:

Amazon reported net income of $5 million, or a penny a share, under generally accepted accounting principles, well ahead of analysts' expectations.

Re:Not 5c per share (0)

aero6dof (415422) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884851)

Heh.. 5c/share was the figure using Enron accountants.

Do you believe it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884805)

Not to put too fine a point on it, but... Do any of you believe these numbers? Really?

Their accounting staff can manipulate the numbers to show anything. Even if they are following GAAP rules, there can be serious issues in the way that the financials are tallied and reported.

We rely on auditors to make sure the numbers jibe, but after Enron, I am starting to question everything that I read, particularly from firms who have never been able to make a dime. YMMV

Steven King, author, dead at 54 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884810)

Just heard the sad news on talk radio. Horror/Sci-Fi novelist Steven King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. Even if you never read his work, you can appreciate his contributions to Enron's lobbyists. Truly an American icon.

some validation, at least (1)

macsox (236590) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884814)

i assume that most readers of slashdot recognize the value in the concept of having an internet business, and that many of the dot-coms were ahead of their time -- beyond the visible spectrum for most americans.

it is therefore nice to see a pure internet business pulling ahead. i am tired of ignorant, 60-year-old pundits claiming that the internet experiment failed. it is inevitable, and this is yet another small step in that direction.

Only if (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884928)

Erm, I'm sorry to bring you down from the clouds but most internet startup failures were not due to them being ahead of their time.

Unless of course in the future a sucessful business is one that make a huge loss with no real path to profitability.

Yes Amazon is starting to go from loss, to break even and finally profit but I would hardly call them ahead of their time since at the end of the day they sell mainly Books, CD's, Video's and DVD's.

what?!?! (0, Troll)

trix_e (202696) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884815)

I call for a Congressional investigation... stop this Enron non-sense, this is truly a scandal... Someone making money on the Internet without porn or MLM... Something is fishy here.

"I'm hurt, and confused and I don't know what to say... no comment!" --Alfalfa, 3/12/83

Sure, this quarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884816)

They cut headcount to the bone and trimmed as much fat as they could to make these numbers. If they are able to grow revenues without increasing costs, this will be a huge victory for them.

As a retailer, it is incorrect to look at them in a quarter over quarter view. We need to look at them year to year, and they obviously showed quite a bit of growth in both the top line and the bottom line. We'll have to see how well they can keep this up next January.

Congrats, Amazon. We'll be watching.

Hell freezing over? (4, Insightful)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884819)

What's with all the hell freezing over cracks? Is it really so difficult to believe a retailer would eventually turn a profit?

Or all we all just amazed that at least one DotCom company had a solid business plan, stuck with it, and now has something to show for it?

Re:Hell freezing over? (2)

Anonymous DWord (466154) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884842)

It's just hard to stick with it when you're bleeding 50 million dollars a year. I'm sure all those dot-bombs would still be around if they didn't run out of money.

Re:Hell freezing over? (1)

AmbivaLence (553056) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884855)

No brick&mortar retailer has ever had so much venture capital to work with. Amazon was sustained to this point in large part because of the way in which it's stock was valued. For a B&M retailer, you have to start earning on your investment much sooner than Amazon did or else you'd have to file bankruptcy.

Something to keep in mind (5, Interesting)

Shoeboy (16224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884825)

Just because Amazon turns a slight profit doesn't make your stocks worth anything.

In addition to raising money through sale of stock, Amazon has also raised money by selling bonds. Lots of bonds. The ammount of securities debt Amazon is carrying is far more than the total value of the company.

Now for the fun bit: when push comes to shove, bondholders get paid before stockholders. Always. The people who loaned the company will get paid back before the people who bought part of it. Now it's worth noting that the securities amazon.com has issued are trading at very low rates. They're junk bonds. The market thinks there's a good chance that Amazon will not be able to cover the interest payments on those bonds in the long term. If that happens, the shareholders get $0.00 from any sale of assets.

This makes Amazon.com a risky buy. Not as bad as VA Software, (people find Amazon's services useful afterall) but still risky.

--Shoeboy

Re:Something to keep in mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884859)

I think you're missing the point here. Amazon's liabilities are being paid off on a continual basis and are part of the calculation of net profit for the quarter. If Amazon can maintain profitability, they will be able to pay off all bonds and loans in due time.

The question is whether they will be able to maintain profitability past this quarter.

Re:Something to keep in mind (1)

cheezehead (167366) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884954)

Just because Amazon turns a slight profit doesn't make your stocks worth anything

Right! Perception is reality in the stock market. Amazon's stock is worth what people think it is worth, mundane things like profits etc. only play a role because they may change the perception of the value, hence the value. It's the principle that Wall Street is based on.

Re:Something to keep in mind (-1)

Hack Shoeboy (441994) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884979)

Will somebody please hack Shoeboy's account?



His password is "edible, beddable, but never credible."

HEY! (-1)

K0R$ h4x0r ru1z (533828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884830)

Maybe people dont realize but most retail businesses lose money the first five years. Although Amazon is the supposed new economy, it still ebbs with the old macro. It's starting to turn a profit. What more is there to say?

?

Not REALLY. (-1, Flamebait)

blazerw11 (68928) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884835)

Technically, creative accounting made them a profit. For instance, I don't believe the expenses included debt interest or payments. However, this is what they told "the street" they would do this year. In that sense it is a major milestone. They are still losing money, tho.

Re:Not REALLY. (1)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884857)

I don't believe the expenses included debt interest or payments.

What you believe is irrelevant (and incorrect). It was a real net profit, not pro forma nonsense (i.e. Ticketmaster).

Re:Not REALLY. (1)

blazerw11 (68928) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884923)

NO, YOU ARE WRONG!!!

OK, you're right.
this article [wsj.com] says that pro-forma profit was ~$35 million. Net profit was ~$5 mil. I sit corrected.

Re:Not REALLY. (1)

sprong (98748) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884862)

If I recall, they also don't include the cost of migrating from NT to Linux, nor do they include the cost of laying off people either.

And whoever described Amazon as having a consistent or solid business plan has a short memory. Sellings books and movies is a solid business plan. Selling hammers and furniture is insane.

CORRECTION: No Funny Account (2)

blazerw11 (68928) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884945)

This article [cnn.com] states:
Amazon didn't even have to resort to controversial pro forma accounting methods. It posted a net profit of $5 million, or 1 cent a share, for the quarter, using standard accounting methods.

Linux saves Amazon (5, Interesting)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884845)

And they have Linux to thank for it [com.com] . According to this article Linux saved them $17 million. Therefore, if it wasn't for Linux, they'd be losing $12 million and they wouldn't have been able to keep their promises to Wall Street.

Re:Linux saves Amazon (2)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884866)

Well, I guess my post wasn't entirely accurate. The $17 mil wasn't all due to Linux (though Linux was cited as the primary reason) and the savings was for last quarter, not this quarter (although there should be a similar savings for this quarter). It's still a victory for Open Source software though. Go Linux!

Re:Linux saves Amazon (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884982)

Linux is CRAP!!!!
it stopped being one when the Amazon sysadmins rewrote it from scratch!

Re:Linux saves Amazon (2)

KilobyteKnight (91023) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884985)

If the government would switch to Linux, just think how much money could be saved.

Not That Much (1)

The Gardener (519078) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884854)

At 5c a share . . .

A profit, but not five cents yet.

Amazon reported net income of $5.1 million, or a penny a diluted share, compared with a net loss of $545.1 million, or $1.53 a basic share, a year earlier.

The Gardener

"Profit" in the loosest sense of the word (4, Interesting)

HEbGb (6544) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884867)

I'm not impressed at all by a company that has had to spend several billion dollars to make a profit of $5 million. First of all, $5 million is peanuts, and the stated profit takes none of the infrastructure expenses they've been making for the last several years.

If I spend $10 billion on a factory one year, and make $5 million the next year after operating expenses, am I profitable? No way. Not until the $10 billion factory is paid for.

There was also few details given about the expense exclusions that have likely been included in the calculation. Let's see what the SEC filings have to say (they're not out yet).

And even still, a $5 million profit on a $10 billion+ investment is a pretty lousy return (rate = 0.05%).

Re:"Profit" in the loosest sense of the word (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884989)

heh. i wonder if they'll be around long enough to announce having paid back all that investment capital....

Re:"Profit" in the loosest sense of the word (2)

3am (314579) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884999)

i really am happy for amazon.. but i wonder more if _i'm_ going to be around long enough to see that day...

A factory is a capital expenditure... (4, Informative)

MeowMeow Jones (233640) | more than 12 years ago | (#2885010)

and not an expense.

Why? The factory is worth $10 billion dollars. Amazon could sell it if they had to. Then the factory depreciates over time and that's when the company can expense it.

I agree that this is a shitty return, but there's a big difference between spending $10 billion on a factory and $10 billion on programmers salaries.

this is good, in a way (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884869)

mainly because ANY company showing a profit is a good thing in todays economy. It seems they got the ship righted before it hit the iceberg.

quantnum theory (2, Interesting)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884874)

this is proof that in an infinite amount of time, the quantnum probability of anything happening is at least 1

The Matrix (1, Troll)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884879)

Amazon is the best ePortal in the world! I think that Amazon should buy every corporation in the world, and patent every tiny detail of every operation that takes place in the resulting massive huge enormous multinational corporation. For example, "Method and Apparatus Attaching Manually Recorded Hardcopy," meaning, a patent on paperclipping some handwritten notes together, or, "Method and Apparatus for Disposing of Manually Generated Hardcopy of Temporary Use," meaning, a patent on tossing a piece of paper in the trash.

Then, once all these actions take place, every person will pay an Amazon Tax on every transaction they make. Amazon will then buy all the governments of the world, enslave the human people, put a computer in command of those people, patent that, charge ridiculous license fees for it, put all the people of the world into chambers in a power plant and use them as batteries, and next thing you know, we have The Matrix.

oooooOoooooHooooo oooooWoooooEoooooLoooooLooooo

So much for amazon.org jokes ... (1)

DigitalDreg (206095) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884890)

This comment is not lame, despite what the nice web page tells me.

the emperor has no clothes (1)

spoonyfork (23307) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884897)

Quick Mr. Bezos, get those profitability press releases out before the justice department gets their no-one-else-can-pull-an-Enron-but-us legislation on.

Time is running out. Get those books cooking!

This is interesting ... (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884914)

From the article:

Among other units, books, music and video remain Amazon's biggest sellers, ringing up revenue of $538 million in the fourth quarter, but sales growth was a mere 5 percent

Electronics tools and kitchen sales were $216.6 million, down 2 percent from a year ago. Services sales were $98 million, up 3 percent.

Not sure exactly what the "services" are (like everyone else, I hope it's not 1-click licenses) but this pretty much confirms what my gut told me: Amazon is good at selling books and media, but really lousy at selling everything else. I really hope that they realize this and get out of the TV's-and-lawn-chairs business. They're still a great place to buy books, but I've never bought anything bigger than about 1 cubic foot from them, and I'm pretty sure I never will.

My reaction to this... (2, Funny)

eric434 (161022) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884915)

http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=19990406

[scene: MS techie in moon suit, facing the perfect home for a new evil AI (in other words, an Arnold Shwartzenegger-type guy)]

MS Techie:[thinking] How do I knock this guy out? He's positively huge. I don't even think a mallet would do him in.

*thinks*

Techie: I heard Amazon.com actually turned a profit this quarter.

*whoomp* [Arnold faints]

Techie:[thinking] Lies and damned lies...

Wow, who's next? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884922)

VA Software?

Good for them - but only a start (1)

Sircus (16869) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884925)

First off - I don't hold anything against the one-click patent. If they want to waste money on silly patents, that's their problem.

Now that that's out of the way, it's nice to see them prove the nay-sayers wrong. But it doesn't mean a whole lot for the future - in order to get to this Milestone, they've spent upwards of $10 billion. They're paying $120 million a year in interest. If you take their 4th-quarter sales ($1.12 billion) as a guide to the next year's sales (generous - 4th quarter includes Christmas), you come out with 3% of their income going on interest payments.

I really hope they succeed - I order pretty much all my stuff from amazon.de - but this profit is by no means the end of the road. It's nice to see they managed to declare GAAP-standard profits, though, instead of using the pro-forma get-out clause.

See the official press release here [iredge.com] .

Alan Thicke, DEAD. (-1, Offtopic)

Sir_trolls_alot (553066) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884926)

Just heard the sad news on CBC radio. Comedy writer/actor Alan Thicke was found dead in his home this morning. Even if you never watched his work, you can appreciate his work in 80's tv. Truly a Canadian icon. He will be missed :(

Show me that smile again.
Ooh show me that smile.
Don't waste another minute on your crying.
We're nowhere near the end.
We're nowhere near.
The best is ready to begin.

As long as we got each other
We got the world
Sitting right in our hands.
Baby rain or shine;
All the time.
We got each other
Sharing the laughter and love.

Re:Alan Thicke, DEAD. (0, Offtopic)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884946)

i'm amazed by the amount of effort that has gone into this apparently completely useless post.

Re:Alan Thicke, DEAD. (-1, Offtopic)

The BOFH Troll (549884) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884975)

Your penis is small, but mine is bigger and more useful than yours.

$5 min? (1)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884932)

What was the maximum then?

cLive ;-)

Reuters story (1, Redundant)

Metrollica (552191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884943)

Reuters story can be found here [techtv.com] and there is a story here [guardian.co.uk] on The Guardian.

Re:Reuters story (-1, Troll)

Sir_trolls_alot (553066) | more than 12 years ago | (#2885006)

Thats some fine high quailty Karma whoring you're doing kid ;) keep up the good work. Seeing as the orignal article isin't even slashdotted ROTFLMAO. I bet you were hoping some kid with mod points would mod you up without the article? opps I guess I messed that up for you!! BTW did you hear Alan Thicke DIED today? Just heard it on CBC radio!! (Not kidding either!. Sorry to burst your karma bubble!

The Unneccesarily Long Road to Profitability (5, Interesting)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884956)

How many internet companies (where it matters not to the customer where you are) do you think would have been doing much better if they had not headquartered in high-priced tech centers like Seattle and San Francisco?

Re:The Unneccesarily Long Road to Profitability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884986)

Would the engineers have gone?

Sure Dell does okay, but who really wants to move to Austin?

Big News Day (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884967)

Of course, I've done my little bit to help, going so far as to buy several books from .com and .co.uk (lykes UK covers, which now are showing up in US), but notice I didn't receive my customary Amazon coffee cup, like I did in years past. Guess that's the difference in making a profit.

I'm still giddy over Netscape vs M$.

Some good for Seattle area, some bad, all is in balance.

Nice... (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 12 years ago | (#2884995)

As someone whose just got laid off from Macaroni its nice to see a company making a profit and having something good said about it for once.

All the negative press and talk of recessions etc is a very good way of getting a recession...

Let's hope that a) amazon keep the profits going up, b) they've had their bout of bloodletting and don't need to again (or atleast for a long time) and c) that I can manage to persuade my pig to land...

From the article: Amazon switching to Linux (1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2884998)


The company's fulfillment, marketing, and technology and content expenses were lower in the fourth quarter compared with the year-earlier period. Amazon has shifted many of its systems to the Linux operating system and hasn't had to market as heavily since many rivals such as eToys have disappeared.


So Linux helped making Amazon profitable-- a next to impossible event-- happen. Cool.

Amaron? (1)

rdelsambuco (552369) | more than 12 years ago | (#2885002)

Amazon has taken the life blood out of the independant bookseller trade: a trade that provided for families all over the country (world?) Now that wealth has been taken and put in the pocket of the smiling dwarf Bezos/Potemkin. What a joke! Can anyone say "Amaron.com"?

the internet is starting to work (3, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 12 years ago | (#2885016)

Greedy vulture capitalists distracted the contruction of internet commerce in the late 1990s. Finally a few companies are getting it to work properly.
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