Amazon Beats Earnings Expectations, Prime Subscriptions Grow

28 BIZ Hulu Jeff Bezos

Under CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon is a $100 billion company with a $7 billion cash war chest and a reputation for spending the time and money necessary to build a profitable business.

The company reported that it spent $1.3 billion on Prime Instant Video in 2014.

Amazon stock is trading up after the company reported quarterly earnings that beat analyst expectations. 

The Seattle-based tech giant has announced adjusted earnings per share of 45 cents, a significant amount higher than the 18 cents per share that analysts had been expecting. Quarterly revenue was $29.33 billion, a 15 percent jump over the same period last year but slightly lower than the expected $29.68 billion. 

For the full year, Amazon reported a 20 percent increase in revenue to $88.99 billion and a loss of 52 cents per share. 

The earnings report comes a couple weeks after Amazon's studio arm brought home its first Golden Globes wins for TV series Transparent. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos attended the annual festivities and was even name-checked on stage when Jeffrey Tambor accepted his trophy for best actor in a comedy series. The company has been spending big on its original productions — as much as $100 million in the third quarter last year alone — and recently announced plans to move into film production. In total, the company invested $1.3 billion into Prime Instant Video in 2014.  

Bezos addressed Amazon's decision to increase the annual membership fee for Prime from $79 to $99 but didn't give away the exact number of memberships, as analysts were hoping. He noted that the service has "tens of millions of members" and increased 53 percent last year. "When we raised the price of Prime membership last year, we were confident that customers would continue to find it the best bargain in the history of shopping," he said. We’ll continue to work hard for our Prime members."

Amazon's stock, which closed the day up nearly 3 percent to $311.71, was trading up more than 8 percent to around $338 during after-hours trading on the Nasdaq.