The company's new CEO
Amazon ended 2020 with a record 118% growth in earnings per share and 44% growth in revenues, ending the year with the biggest numbers in its history. Andy Jassy, head of AWS cloud, will replace Jeff Bezos as Amazon CEO in the third quarter of this year.
Amazon (AMZN) released its 4Q financial report after the close of trading on Tuesday, summarising its 2020 results and announcing founder Jeff Bezos historic decision to move from the CEO's primary executive role to a strategic role as chairman.
Amazon shares, up 68.65% over the past year, rose on the news after the close.
Jeff Bezos's resignation
In a letter to employees, Jeff Bezos said he would be spending his time on "new products and early initiatives" and that this was not a retirement. Jassy joined the company immediately after Amazon's IPO in 1997 and he is Bezos longtime "right-hand man". The transition of the board into Andy's hands will take place in the third quarter of 2021.
Amazon's fourth quarter and full year 2020 report
The company reported Q4 earnings per share growth of 118% to $14.09, up $6.86 from analysts estimate of $7.23. Total quarterly earnings more than doubled to $7.2bn, up from $3.3bn in the same quarter last year.
Amazon's total revenue rose 44% to $125.6bn, also well above analysts forecast of $119.7bn.
Amazon's electronic sales in the fourth quarter rose 46% year-on-year to $66.45 billion.
Revenue from Amazon Web Services cloud computing division rose 28% to $12.74 billion, but fell short of analysts forecasts of $12.83 billion.
Sales at Amazon's physical shops, including Whole Foods Market, fell 8% to $4.02bn as the pandemic pushed customers to switch shopping online.
Amazon's "Other" segment in the report, which mainly consists of digital advertising revenue, generated $7.95bn, an increase of 66% from the fourth quarter of 2019.
For the full year 2020, Amazon increased its revenues by 38% to $386.1bn, with 12% of this coming from AWS sales (the segment's annual revenue growth was 30% to $45.37bn).
The company expects total revenues to be in the range of $100.0bn to $106.0bn, suggesting a 33-40% increase over the first quarter of 2020. Analysts expectations are more modest at $95.8bn.