SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc posted a 56 percent jump in operating income and its highest profit margin in years, after grabbing a big share of online spending during the crucial holiday period.
"Incredibly strong margins. This is the highest fourth-quarter margin in North America that they've reported since the third quarter of 2009. The highest in over three years."
"It was a much better-than-expected gross margin, a strong forward indicator to drive margin expansion. What is really important is gross profit dollars and that line is stronger."
"Revenue was light. In general, weaker than everyone expected on the top line and guidance was similarly weaker than what everyone was expecting on the top line. There was a massive selloff at the beginning.
"I'm not that surprised. We've had a lot of negative retail data points. General suggestions have been that e-commerce was not as strong as people had expected."
Reporting By Jennifer Saba and Liana Baker in New York, and Alexei Oreskovic in San Francisco