The share price of Amazon rose swiftly yesterday (April 24th) following the news the company recorded a sharp rise in its profits in the first three months of the year.
It was revealed in a financial statement that the firm made $108 million (£64 million) in the first quarter of 2014, up almost a third (32 per cent) on the same time in 2013.
Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos described 2014 as having got off to a "kinetic" start for the business, with a strong increase in sales – which were up by 23 per cent to $19.74 billion – cited as having helped contribute to the profit growth over the three-month period.
Although stocks are still down by around 15 per cent for the year, the share price of Amazon responded strongly to the release of the financial data. Stocks rose by almost four per cent in normal trading, but the increase in the after-hours session was just 0.25 per cent.
The first quarter of 2014 saw Amazon launch Fire TV, which is the company's first entry into the set-top TV box market, coming after the firm unveiled the Kindle reading devices and tablets.
Mr Bezos stated that Fire TV has been a success in "offering great content, including our recently announced exclusive deal with HBO, and innovative features like unified voice search, which we’re delighted is being adopted by so many new partners, including Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Crackle and Showtime Anytime". He added: "The team is working hard to keep Fire TV in stock."
Amazon announced a few weeks ago that it is set to increase the cost of its Prime unlimited shipping membership in the US to $99 a year. This was an increase from $79 – a 25 per cent increase – as the company aimed to make a larger profit on this part of the business.
The firm has a lot of competition in the set-top TV arena, as Apple TV was among the first devices to be launched and competitors such as Google have entered the market in recent months with the release of its USB stick-style Chromecast effort.
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