Amazon's Q1 profit exceeds expectations

Amazon.com Inc on Thursday trounced first-quarter profit estimates on soaring demand for its cloud and advertising services, but forecast second-quarter revenue largely below expectations.

Net sales rose 17% to $59.70 billion, beating the analysts' average estimate of $59.65 billion.

The company forecast net sales of between $59.5 billion and $63.5 billion for the second quarter, the midpoint of which was below analysts' average estimate of $62.37 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Amazon's net income rose to $3.56 billion, or $7.09 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $1.63 billion, or $3.27 per share, sending its shares up 1.2% after the bell.

Net sales in North America, its biggest market, jumped 17% to $35.81 billion in the quarter.

Amazon Web Services revenue surged 41.4% to $7.70 billion, but missed the estimate of $7.72 billion.

Amazon's operating expenses rose 12.6% in the quarter to $55.28 billion as it invested in electric-car maker Rivian and self-driving car startup Aurora and continued spending on its Prime program, grocery delivery from Whole Foods stores and original video content.

Amazon has also been gaining immensely from its highly profitable ad sales business. The company said revenue from the category and some other items grew 33.7% to $2.72 billion, but missed estimates of $2.85 billion.

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