Amazon posts $51B in Q1 revenue, crushes profit expectations, shares up 6%

Amazon said it plans to increase its spend on video throughout 2018 after the company more than doubled its profits in Q1

Amazon (AMZN) posted first-quarter 2018 earnings on Thursday afternoon that surpassed Wall Street expectations.

For a man worth $127 billion, that tiny fraction amounts to $1 billion a year, which he gets by liquidating Amazon stock, Bezos said at an Axel Springer awards event in Berlin, Germany, hosted by Business Insider's U.S. editor-in-chief, Alyson Shontell. Amazon had already been on a breakneck pace this year, with its shares climbing almost 30 percent to $1,511 a share since the start of 2018.

Subscription services, which include Amazon's popular Prime offering, generated revenue of $US3.1 billion, up 56 per cent from a year earlier.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed in a shareholder letter last week that there are now more than 100 million subscribers for Prime, a $99 annual membership program that offers shipping perks and video streaming.

AWS pulled in $5.4 billion in sales during the quarter, a 49 percent-year-over-year increase. It's the second straight quarter of accelerating growth for the profitable unit.

"AWS had the unusual advantage of a seven-year head start before facing like-minded competition, and the team has never slowed down", said Bezos.

Amazon's success has made Bezos the world's richest individual, and the company has been a frequent target of President Donald Trump, who has argued that the tech giant gets a sweetheart deal from the US Postal service, a claim which is disputed by many analysts. Analyst consensus estimated operating income of $1.13 billion of operating income and sales of $52.3 billion. The company is forecasting operating income of $1.1 billion to $1.9 billion on revenue of $51 billion to $54 billion.

Amazon has been broadening its business by moving into new sectors, notably with the acquisition of the Whole Foods grocery chain.

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