Amazon has easily beaten analyst earnings predictions for Q4 of 2020, but the even bigger news might be Jeff Bezos stepping down as CEO later this year.
On top of its quarter four results, Amazon announced that founder and CEO Jeff Bezos would be stepping down and move into the job of chairman in 2021’s third quarter. His replacement will be the head of Amazon’s very successful cloud division, Andy Jassy. Bezos started Amazon out of his garage in Seattle in 1994 as a bookseller, and grew it into an online superstore and the country’s second-largest employer, while making himself one of the world’s wealthiest people.
“Right now Amazon is at its most inventive time ever, making this an optimal time for a transition,” said Bezos in his announcement.
Amazon shares climbed 1.04% to $3,415.10 in post-bell trading on Tuesday after increasing 1.11% during the day. The stock is up just 9% over the past six months compared to the 15.7% increase in the S&P 500.
For Q4, Amazon had revenue of $125.55 billion, which is better than estimates that predicted $119.72 billion. Plus the company had its first $100 billion sales quarter. Their EPS was reported at $14.09, almost 2x the analyst estimate of $7.30.
Operating income was reported at $6.9 billion versus their previous $1 billion to $4.5 billion guidance, while Amazon’s first quarter guidance for operating income was $3 billion to $6.5 billion, versus the estimates of $5.9 billion. Its Q1 guidance assumes “covid-costs” of $2.0 billion.
Amazon also reported revenue guidance for Q1 of between $100 billion and $106 billion, well above estimates of $95.8 billion.