Playing Amazon ( AMZN ) shares based on quarterly earnings reports is like playing with fire; if you did that for the company's Q2 earnings report after the bell Thursday, you likely got your fingers burned. The eCommerce giant posted a loss of 2 cents per share on revenues of $15.70 billion, as compared to Zacks Consensus Estimates of a profit of 4 cents per share and sales of $15.79 billion. Slight miss on the top end but a pretty deep swoon in earnings, and into negative territory for the third time in the past five quarters.
But CEO Jeff Bezos doesn't care about 3-month earnings performances, and most investors don't either. Amazon has expanded so far and wide from its earlier days as a simple on-line book retailer it's scarcely recognizable anymore; Bezo's game plan has always been about growth, plain and simple. The idea, then, is to buy Amazon shares and hold them -- sometimes for dear life -- for the long term. Those who've done so have been richly rewarded, with AMZN share value having gone up roughly ten million percent since the company's IPO in 1997. OK, a bit of an exaggeration there.
Analysts covering Amazon earnings haven't even bothered making a single estimate revision for the company's Q2, Q3, fiscal 2013 or 2014. Not one. Notably, the high estimate was for 18 cents per share and the low was for -16 cents. And then everybody sat back and waited for whatever was going to happen to happen.
Guidance for revenues between $15.45B - $17.15B is also a bit of a downer; the Zacks Consensus is for $17.02B, so it's still in the range... but not by all that much. Still, net sales were up 22% from a year ago, and $15.7 billion pretty much ensures the company will be sticking around awhile.
Amazon is now joining forces with Viacom ( VIA ) and Comcast's ( CMCSA ) NBCUniversal to work out major video licensing deals, and its Kindle products and App stores are still doing a healthy business. So while other CEOs -- heck, just about every single one of them -- might shy away from continuing to build out their company's infrastructure so massively, Bezos looks for now to be sticking with his gameplan. And caring whether after-market traders sell off their AMZN shares (they have, but only a little) is not part of that gameplan.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.