Amazon.com, Inc. was known, until recently at least, for keeping much of the details of its business a secret, but CEO Jeff Bezos appears to be changing his tack. The firm put key numbers about its Prime Service in the public domain on Monday, December 28. That’s a late Christmas present for those with shares in the online retail giant.
In its release Amazon.com Inc. said that more than 3 million people joined its Prime service in the third week of December. That brings the total number of members into the tens of millions according to the firm, and they’re using memberships for free shipping, music streaming, and video streaming. Amazon also said that it doubled sales of its own devices over last year.
Amazon.com Inc. offers vague insight
In the Monday morning release Amazon.com, Inc. didn’t exactly offer concrete figures about its business. Instead the firm revealed just enough to show that Prime is growing. Many analysts think that the firm’s membership business is second in importance only to Amazon Web Services among its offerings.
The firm said that it sold “millions” of devices during the three months, that Christmas Eve was the biggest day ever for Prime Now, that a record number of items got free shipping this year, video streaming doubled and music streaming rose by 350 percent over the same period last year.
Signs that users still love Amazon Prime, despite changes that have been made over the last year or two, are very good news for the firm, at least in the eyes of Wall Street. The figures that Mr. Bezos’ team released today aren’t all that telling, but they do give some support to those who reckon Prime will bring the firm growth from here on out.
Looking to Prime for growth
Amazon.com, Inc. has grown to rely on Prime for growth in recent years, and those following the service on Wall Street seem to think it’s worth betting on. Macquarie Capital analyst Ben Schachter told CNBC earlier on this month that about a quarter of US households had signed up for the service, and that the firm is likey to capture more than half of all growth in online buying as a result.
Macquarie said back in February that 50 percent of US households will be members of the service by the end of the decade. That’s huge recurring revenue for the firm, and, if true, it describes a dominance of retail unheard of in any past era.
Wall Street wasn’t all that impressed with this morning’s release, though volume was very low in pre-market trading on Monday. At time of writing shares in Amazon were selling for $660.98 in the pre market. That’s a fraction lower than the price stock closed at on Thursday.
It’s clear that today’s Prime release is a little to vague to offer traders a reason to buy into the story Amazon is telling. We’ll have to wait until the firm’s fourth quarter earnings report, due before the end of the month, to see if the firm is willing to part with some juicer information about Prime.