Amazon warns consumers to order early this Christmas

Despite beating analyst predictions with sales growth of 37 per cent during the third quarter, warnings that it could struggle to meet Golden Quarter demand spooked some Amazon investors, with shares falling two per cent in morning trading.

The e-commerce giant’s latest results predicted that operating profits for the coming quarter would come in between $1 billion and $4.5 billion, below analyst forecasts of $5.8 billion.

While Amazon expects to surpass $100 billion in sales for the first time - with potential revenues of between $112 billion and $121 billion - its predicted lower profit margins due to higher costs related to the pandemic.

These include shipping costs, which rose by $1.4 billion in its last quarter and are now $5 billion higher than the same period a year earlier.

Despite its increased investment, Amazon chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky warned that the company “will be stretched” and that it would be advantageous “to the customer, and probably the companies, for people to order early this year”.

Between July and September, the company reported record revenues of $96.1 billion, while net income rose 71 per cent year-on-year, from $2.1 billion to $6.3 billion.

Rising delivery costs in its retail business were offset by the continued success of Amazon Web Services, which saw revenues rise 29 per cent.

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