Amazon Sells More Than Ever, Loses Money, Declares Victory

A blog about business and economics.
July 25 2013 4:17 PM

Amazon Sells More Than Ever, Loses Money, Declares Victory

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NEW YORK - AUGUST 22: Whatever

Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images for Amazon.com

Mortal companies have quarterly earnings reports. Amazon is required to file the same paperwork as everyone else, but they barely mention earnings. Jeff Bezos cares not for the profit motive.

Headline:

Amazon.com Announces Second Quarter Sales Up 22% to $15.70 Billion
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And so they are. That's 22 percent relative to the year-ago quarter. Back in those bleak and dismal days of Q2 2012, Amazon earned a paltry $7 million in net income. This past quarter on the back of much stronger sales they managed to lose a paltry $7 million. Last week I recommended that companies with lots of "cash on the sidelines" should consider paying their workers more. But if you're an executive with a principled opposition to handing out raises, Amazon definitely shows you the way to go. They are quite stingy with their workers, but it's all in pursuit of growing sales and advancing customers' interests. Profts, dividends, and such don't enter into the picture. They just want to grow and strike terror into the hearts of lesser businessmen.

AMZN LTM Net Income_0

Amazon's profits were always small, but as the company as grown they've shrunk and now turned negative.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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