Amazon shares pop after earnings beat

Amazon (AMZN) reported first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines, sending shares of the retail giant up as much as 5% in after-hours trading.

Buoyed by a strong performance from its cloud computing sector, Amazon continued a wave of Big Tech results that mostly dazzled Wall Street, even as investors turned their focus to the conclusion of the Federal Reserve's May policy meeting on Wednesday.

The company noted that its industry-leading AWS business is on track to generate $100 billion in revenue annually.

Here are some of Amazon's most important metrics in the company's fiscal first quarter, according to data from Bloomberg:

  • Net sales: $143.3 billion vs. $142.6 billion expected ($127.4 billion in Q1 2023)

  • Adjusted EPS: $0.98 vs. $0.83 expected ($0.31 in 1Q23)

  • Amazon Web Services: $25 billion vs. $24.1 billion expected ($21.4 billion in Q1 2023)

  • Advertising: $11.8 billion versus $11.8 billion expected ($9.5 billion in the first quarter of 2023)

“It's been a good start to the year across the business, and you can see that in the customer experience improvements and financial results,” CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement.

Amazon's report arrived a week after cloud and AI rival Microsoft (MSFT) reported an impressive quarterly quarter, beating expectations for the strength of its cloud computing business. The market cheered even louder at the results of Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Google's parent company, which outperformed top and bottom and came with a new earnings announcement, the latest in a trend among the tech giants.

Amazon, which has positioned itself as a leader in artificial intelligence, is another player in the race to gain market share and launch new consumer services. In March, Amazon increased its investment in AI startup Anthropic, pumping in another $2.75 billion, bringing its total investment to $4 billion.

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Like rivals Microsoft and Alphabet, Amazon is throwing its weight into its cloud computing business to gain an advantage in the emerging artificial intelligence market. AI tools require massive amounts of data and processing power to train and run large language models and their applications, and rely on cloud providers to provide critical infrastructure.

Amazon stock, which joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) in February, is up about 20% for the year.

Hamza Shaaban is a reporter for Yahoo Finance covering markets and economics. Follow Hamza on Twitter @hshaban.

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