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Amazon Q3 Earnings Top Wall Street Expectations as Pandemic Leads to Surge in Online Shopping

Retail giant posted just under $100 billion in revenue, and expects a robust holiday season

Amazon reported third-quarter earnings that again far surpassed Wall Street's expectations as the coronavirus pandemic has lead to a massive increase in online shopping.

For Q3, Amazon's sales hit $96. 1 billion, beating analyst projections of $92.48 billion. Its earnings per share of $12.37, was also higher than analysts' expectations of $7.25 EPS. Amazon's sales were up 37% when compared to the year-ago quarter.

"Two years ago, we increased Amazon's minimum wage to $15 for all full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees across the U.S. and challenged other large employers to do the same. Best Buy and Target have stepped up, and we hope other large employers will also make the jump to $15. Now would be a great time," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.

Bezos continued: "Offering jobs with industry-leading pay and great healthcare, including to entry-level and front-line employees, is even more meaningful in a time like this, and we're proud to have created over 400,000 jobs this year alone. We're seeing more customers than ever shopping early for their holiday gifts, which is just one of the signs that this is going to be an unprecedented holiday season. Big thank you to our employees and selling partners around the world who've been busy getting ready to deliver for customers this holiday."

The COVID-19 pandemic has battered brick-and-mortar retail stores but boosted online shopping. Amazon said its medium and small business sellers had their two best days ever for its annual Prime Day (Oct. 13-14). Third-party sellers surpassed $3.5 billion in sales, an increase of 60% compared to last year.

And Amazon is expecting an even bigger quarter with the Holiday season approaching, forecasting between $112-$121 billion in sales.