Amazon on Tuesday became the second tech company ever to post more than $100 billion in quarterly sales, with holiday spending fueling the ecommerce giant to $125.56 billion in fourth-quarter revenue.
That easily topped Wall Street’s projections of $119.7 billion in quarterly sales, while Amazon’s $14.09 earnings per share nearly doubled the $7.24 EPS analysts had projected. Amazon’s sales increased 44% year-over-year.
Amazon’s big quarter comes after Apple announced last week it also crossed $100 billion in sales during the same holiday quarter, with Apple pulling in $111.44 billion during that time. The two tech giants joined Walmart and ExxonMobil as the only companies to hit $100 billion in quarterly sales.
Amazon’s financial performance was overshadowed by the announcement founder and CEO Jeff Bezos would be stepping down as chief executive later this year. Andy Jassy, a longtime Amazon employee who helped launch and grow the company’s cloud business, will take over sometime between April and June, the company said. Bezos will transition at that point to being Executive Chair of Amazon’s board.
Bezos, in an email to Amazon employees on Tuesday, said he intends to “focus my energies and attention on new products and initiatives” in his new role.
“If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. That yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive,” Bezos said. “When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention. Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.”
Amazon’s share price was down 0.5% in after-hours trading.
Looking ahead, Amazon said it expects to bring in between $100 billion-$106 billion during Q1 2021.