Amazon Stock Sinks Like a Stone After Missing Q4 Expectations

Company managed to grow Prime subscriptions by 51 percent in 2015

Amazon missed on fourth quarter expectations, and its stock is currently suffering the effects.

The online retail giant reported sales of $35.7 billion for the final three months of fiscal 2015; net income per share came in at just a buck. Wall Street analysts estimated AMZN’s earnings per share (EPS) would come in at $1.58 on revenue of $35.98 billion, per Yahoo Finance. Zacks pegged EPS three cents higher.

Those whiffs become optically somewhat more magnified when realizing that Q4 was the holiday season, and thus the most crucial one for a company like Amazon. While we in the Hollywood industry are thinking about the Jeff Bezos-led company more and more for its TV, film, and music offerings, those segments pale in comparison to its straight consumer product sales.

It’s not all bad by those, though: Net sales increased 22 percent year over year in the comparable 90-day period. That would have been even higher if not for those pesky unfavorable foreign exchange rates. Operating and net incomes basically both doubled for the company, and Amazon was able to grow Prime subscriptions by 51 percent over 2015.

Unfortunately, expectations were simply too high to succeed with analysts.

AMZN closed today’s traditional U.S. trading day at $635.35 per share — up a big $52, or plus 8.91 percent. That didn’t last.

Twenty minutes after the markets shut down for the day, Amazon stock was down a big 14.1 percent — or $89.38 apiece.

Naturally, the founder and CEO is focusing publicly on the recent positives, including a pair of Golden Globe wins for “Mozart in the Jungle.” Plus, “The Man in the High Castle” and more “Transparent” have also been content highlights for the studio side of the business, and Amazon released its first original film, Spike Lee‘s “Chi-Raq,” garnering generally favorable critical reviews. “Chi-Raq” drops in February.

“Twenty years ago, I was driving the packages to the post office myself and hoping we might one day afford a forklift. This year, we pass $100 billion in annual sales and serve 300 million customers,” Bezos said of his company’s growth. “And still, measured by the dynamism we see everywhere in the marketplace and by the ever-expanding opportunities we see to invent on behalf of customers, it feels every bit like Day 1.”

Senior management will hold a conference call to discuss its Q4 and full-year results at 5 p.m. ET.

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