Amazon’s Q3 earnings beat estimates with 37% sales growth
Amazon has reported its earnings for the third quarter of the financial year, beating already positive estimations.
Some of the key highlights include sales of $96.1bn in the quarter - up 37% compared to the same period in 2019. Profits reached a record high of $6.3bn, almost three times as high compared to last year.
The standout success of Amazon’s vast empire was its original ecommerce unit, driven by the uptake of online shopping forced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That was closely followed by its cloud computing division Amazon Web Services.
In , Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said: “We’re proud to have created over 400,000 jobs this year alone. We’re seeing more customers than ever shopping early for their holiday gifts, which is just one of the signs that this is going to be an unprecedented holiday season. Big thank you to our employees and selling partners around the world who’ve been busy getting ready to deliver for customers this holiday.”
It’s been for tech companies all round, with the likes of Facebook, Apple and Google all reporting considerable growth. The digital nature of their businesses has allowed them to not only weather but to gain from the pandemic, which has had a devastating impact on brick-and-mortar stores and other physical amenities.
In , Amazon’s Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said: “Our Q3 results largely reflect a continuation of demand trends we saw when we exited the second quarter. The strong demand in sales growth across our major product categories globally including hardlines, consumables, softlines and media. We also continue to see strong Prime member engagement. Prime members continue to shop with greater frequency and across more categories than before the pandemic began. They continue to expand their usage of Prime's digital benefits including Prime video.”
The company was not unaffected by COVID-19, however, with Orlavsky saying related expenses in Q3 totalled $2.5bn, with $4bn anticipated in Q4.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”