Jeff Bezos tells shareholders to ‘take a seat’ as company manages Covid-19


Net income for the quarter fell nearly 31% from the same period in the prior year to $2.5 billion, or $5.01 per share. Wall Street analysts had projected quarterly income of $3.15 billion.

Amazon (AMZN) shares dipped nearly 5% in after hours trading Thursday following the company’s earnings report.

CEO Jeff Bezos warned shareholders that the June quarter could also be challenging for the online retail giant’s finances, as the company plans to reinvest billions of dollars into managing coronavirus.

“If you’re a shareowner in Amazon, you may want to take a seat, because we’re not thinking small,” Bezos said in a release. “Under normal circumstances, in this coming Q2, we’d expect to make some $4 billion or more in operating profit. But these aren’t normal circumstances. Instead, we expect to spend the entirety of that $4 billion, and perhaps a bit more, on COVID-related expenses.”

He said the company plans to use those funds to to invest in personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning and make other adjustments to its fulfillment centers. The company has been criticized in recent weeks by employees who say they fear that going to work at Amazon warehouses endangers their health.
Bezos also said the company will be spending money on getting products to customers. Amazon has experienced massive online shopping demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. During the quarter, the company hired more than 175,000 fulfillment workers to help handle the jump in orders, and Bezos said Amazon is continuing to hire.

However, Bezos added: “I’m confident that our long-term oriented shareowners will understand and embrace our approach, and that in fact they would expect no less.”

–This is a developing story and will be updated.


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