In the second quarter ended June 30, net sales at Amazon rose 40.2%, to $88.9 billion, and net income doubled, to $5.2 billion. The sales and net income gains easily beat analysts' estimates of $81.3 billion in sales, which resulted in an after-hours 6% gain in the company's stock, which rose to $3,235 a share.
The results were, of course, striking during a quarter when much of the country was under lockdown and economic stress. "Amazon.com delivered soaring quarterly sales and profit, leading a pack of tech giants on Thursday that reported thriving business during the throes of the coronavirus pandemic and highlighting the industry's central place in business and society at a time of growing concern over its clout," the Wall Street Journal commented. "The success of Amazon, Apple and Facebook in the face of a pandemic that has caused unprecedented economic disruption and millions of job losses shows how tech giants have become even more indispensable at a time when people are living and working more online. The companies showed strength in businesses ranging from gadgets and online retail to cloud computing and digital advertising."
The company's stock price is near its all-time high and its market capitalization is slightly over $1.5 trillion. Amazon now employs a million people, making it the second largest employer in the U.S., according to the Journal.
Amazon said it spent $4 billion in the quarter on coronavirus pandemic-related costs, including hiring more workers to meet the huge increased demand, particularly for groceries, whose sales tripled in the quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019.
The company said it expects net sales in the current third quarter to grow 24%-33%, to between $87 billion and $93 billion.