Amazon Shares Soar on Quarterly Earnings

Austin Hargrave
Jeff Bezos

The online giant's market capitalization is poised to surpass that of Wal-Mart.

Shares of Amazon.com were soaring nearly 20 percent in after-hours trading as the online giant surprisingly reversed a year-ago loss of $126 million by posting a $92 million profit in the second quarter, then offered strong current-quarter guidance.

Amazon said revenue jumped 20 percent year-over-year to $23.2 billion in the second quarter, and it would have been a 27 percent increase if not for the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates.

Among the highlights in the quarter: Amazon Studios launched six new pilots for kids and debuted a second season of Annedroids on the company's Prime Instant Video service. 

The company also said its Amazon Fire TV has grown to 2,000 channels, apps and games, including the additions of Starz Play, Candy Crush Saga and Popcornflix during the quarter. Amazon Fire TV is a box that connects to HDTVs, giving users access to Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO and more.

Shares of Amazon fell $6.09 to $482.18 during the regular session but were surging $86 higher after the closing bell.

If the gains made by Amazon stock hold throughout trading on Friday, the online retailer's value should surpass that of Wal-Mart stores. On Thursday, Amazon's market capitalization was $225 billion, compared to Wal-Mart's $236 billion.

Amazon, considered a new-media pioneer as well as an online retailer, already sports a market cap exceeding that of Walt Disney and Comcast, two of the world's premier media conglomerates.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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