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(Amazon Photo)

The pandemic-driven e-commerce surge is predicted to drive report gross sales and revenue for Amazon as the corporate experiences its vacation quarter earnings on Tuesday.

Amazon beforehand set steering of fourth quarter income between $112 and $121 billion. That could be a year-over-year improve of 28% to 38%, and the primary $100 billion-plus quarter for Amazon. It’s additionally nicely previous the earlier report ($96.1 billion) that was simply set within the third quarter. Annual gross sales might eclipse $350 billion, setting one other report.

Wall Street estimates earnings per share of $7.20, up 11% year-over-year, and income of $119.6 billion.

Consumers have turned to on-line procuring amid the pandemic with social distancing mandates and bodily retailers restricted in operation. U.S. e-commerce gross sales grew 47.2% year-over-year from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24, in keeping with Mastercard SpendingPulse. Online gross sales accounted for 19.7% of total retail, up from 13.4% final 12 months.

That pattern has been a boon for Amazon, which stated it delivered billions of merchandise globally in the course of the vacation season. Amazon additionally pushed its annual Prime Day procuring bonanza to October this 12 months, offering one other increase for its This fall gross sales.

“Amazon continues to be the go-to company during the pandemic to source all kinds of goods from groceries to hard goods,” stated analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy.

But the Seattle tech big can be spending closely to extend its supply capability and for pandemic-related prices.

Amazon’s COVID-19 expense was already at $7.5 billion by the third quarter and it anticipated to incur one other $4 billion in COVID-19-related prices in the course of the fourth quarter. The value calculation contains cash spent to assist maintain workers protected; extra pay for staff; and extra. It additionally components in misplaced productiveness from adjustments in Amazon’s course of, comparable to ramping up extra new workers, or implementing social distancing guidelines inside warehouses.

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky stated in October that the corporate would develop its success capability by 50% in 2020 because it opens extra warehouses and supply stations. Amazon additionally not too long ago purchased extra planes. The firm’s worldwide transport prices rose 57% within the third quarter to greater than $15 billion.

Amazon might present an replace on Prime membership totals; a 12 months in the past it reported 150 million international members. Prime membership sign-ups spiked in the course of the vacation quarter, in keeping with a current report from CIRP.

To assist meet demand, Amazon has been on a hiring spree, including at the least 400,000 full- and part-time jobs final 12 months and 100,000 in October alone. It eclipsed the 1 million worker mark for the primary time within the third quarter and employed 1.13 million folks worldwide as of Sept. 30, up 50%. It is inching nearer to retail rival Walmart, the nation’s largest employer with greater than 2.2 million folks.

Analysts can even be watching income development for Amazon Web Services, which continues to assist drive Amazon’s income. Last week Microsoft reported a 50% improve in income for its Azure cloud computing platform and associated companies.

Moorhead stated he expects good numbers from AWS as extra companies depend on the cloud platform to scale and meet buyer wants as corporations speed up their adoption of digital companies in the course of the pandemic.

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Amazon’s inventory worth remained secure within the fourth quarter however is up greater than 60% over the previous 12 months. Wedbush has a 12-month worth goal of $3,900.

“Amazon should expand profitability by growing spending more slowly than revenues. Amazon Web Services, Fulfillment by Amazon, and ads should drive steady margin expansion, with Prime memberships driving overall retail revenue growth,” Wedbush wrote in a current analysis word for the This fall earnings.

Other key information from Amazon in the course of the vacation quarter embrace the launch of Amazon Pharmacy, a part of the corporate’s rising healthcare ambitions; its acquisition of podcast platform Wondery; and its shutdown of Crucible, Amazon’s try at breaking into the online game market that didn’t catch on with shoppers.

Amazon’s headquarters campus in Seattle, in the meantime, has became a COVID-19 vaccination web site in current weeks. Amazon final month additionally despatched a letter to President Joe Biden, providing to assist with the nation’s vaccination efforts.

Conditions for Amazon warehouse staff have been the topic of scrutiny and criticism from worker activists and politicians. Amazon has applied security measures in warehouses and success facilities to assist handle COVID-19 circumstances, and is conducting 1000’s of checks per day. The firm has performed greater than 1 million checks to this point.