Beats Estimates but Has a Big Earnings Drop (NAS: AMZN) reported earnings on Jan. 31. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), missed estimates on revenue and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew significantly, and GAAP earnings per share shrank significantly.

Gross margins increased, operating margins contracted, and net margins dropped.

Revenue details chalked up revenue of $17.43 billion. The 33 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ looked for revenue of $18.26 billion. Sales were 35% higher than the prior-year quarter's $12.95 billion.


Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.38. The 31 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.18 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.38 for Q4 were 58% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.91 per share.


Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 20.7%, 40 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 1.5%, 220 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 1.0%, 220 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $13.41 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.35.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $65.60 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.84.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 4,991 members out of 6,192 rating the stock outperform, and 1,202 members rating it underperform. Among 1,642 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 1,392 give a green thumbs-up, and 250 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on is outperform, with an average price target of $233.06.

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At the time thisarticle was published Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor ofMotley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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