On Thursday afternoon, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced financial results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2015. Stock price increased 9% to $635.35 on Thursday, but plunged 13.4% to $550 during after-market trading.
Net sales rose 22% to $35.7 billion during the fourth quarter, compared with $29.3 billion in the same quarter last year. Operating income jumped up 88% to $1.1 billion during the fourth quarter, compared with $591 million last year. Net income increased 125% to $482 million in the fourth quarter, compared with net income of $214 million last year. Diluted earnings per share rose 122% to $1.00 per diluted share compared with $0.45 in the same quarter last year.
“Twenty years ago, I was driving the packages to the post office myself and hoping we might one day afford a forklift. This year, we pass $100 billion in annual sales and serve 300 million customers,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “And still, measured by the dynamism we see everywhere in the marketplace and by the ever-expanding opportunities we see to invent on behalf of customers, it feels every bit like Day 1.”
According to the next quarter financial guidance, Amazon expected net sales range between $26.5 billion and $29.0 billion which means grow between 17% and 28% compared with the same quarter last year. In addition, operating income is expected to range between $100 million and $700 million, it was $255 million in first quarter 2015.
Even Amazon announced the biggest quarterly profit in its 20-year history, investors apparently require more after subsisting on thin margins for years. According to Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, Amazon’s $35.7 billion revenue just missed Wall Street’s expectations, marking the sixth straight year it has come up short for this period. Wall Street was expecting Amazon to generate $1.55 in earnings per share, and operating income of $1.24 billion.