Amazon on Thursday reported its profit in the past quarter surged on strong holiday retail sales and its soaring cloud computing business.
The US tech giant said profit jumped 63% from a year ago to $3 billion in the fourth quarter as revenues increased 20% to $72.4 billion.
The results reflected growth in Amazon’s ever-expanding online retail operations as well as its large cloud computing division, known as Amazon Web Services.
Shares, however, slid 5.4% to $1,625 in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings results.
“I’m guessing a lot of people expected really good results, and as soon as they saw them sold and took the profit,” said independent analyst Rob Enderle.
“It looks like Amazon had a stellar quarter.”
Chief executive Jeff Bezos highlighted the role of Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa as the company moves into infusing artificial intelligence into its smart speakers and other devices in a race for dominance in the “internet of things” market.
“Alexa was very busy during her holiday season,” Bezos said in the earnings release.
Bezos pointed to the Amazon-branded Echo speakers that are at the heart of the new strategy.
“Echo Dot was the best-selling item across all products on Amazon globally, and customers purchased millions more devices from the Echo family compared to last year,” he said.