Ah, the simple, unadulterated joy of year-end financial reports. Don't you just love them? Amazon does, or at least it has to be loving the financial report it just released for Q4 2013. The online retailer saw net sales climb a significant 20% year-over-year in the quarter, landing at $25.59 billion over Q4 2012's $21.57 billion. Naturally, sales for any popular retailer are going to enjoy a nice little spike during the holiday season, but last year, it looks like more people decided to turn to Amazon to buy their gifts.
Operating income was also on the rise for the quarter, up 26% over the previous year to arrive at $510 million. Just as well, net income rose to $239 million in Q4 2013, which is a lot more than the net income of $93 million Amazon reported a year before. Remember though, that $239 million net income is on sales of $25.59 billion, so it isn't as if Amazon is pulling in a ton of money off those massive sales numbers. Still, we imagine the jump from $93 million to $239 million will be enough to please investors, especially since that means an income of $0.51 per diluted share. When we zoom out and look at the entire year, things even get a fair bit better. Amazon had total sales reach $74.45 billion in 2013, up 22% over the year prior. Operating income took a 10% jump to $745 million, while net income landed at $274 million, merely $32 million more than its reported net income for the last quarter of the year. Regardless, that looks a lot better than than the net loss of $39 million it reported for 2012, so there probably aren't too many worries in that respect.
The report also states that the holiday season 2013 was a record-setting one for Prime subscriptions, with the company saying it even had to restrict sign ups during peak periods. Amazon also added 7,000 new movies and TV shows to its Prime Instant Video service, bring the total number of offerings up to 40,000. If you received a new Kindle Fire for Christmas and tapped the Mayday button on the device, there's a good chance you were in touch with support in the blink of an eye – Amazon said that the average Mayday response time on Christmas day was a mere 9 seconds, beating its own self-imposed goal of 15 seconds. Looking forward, Amazon expects to bring in between $18.2 billion to $19.9 billion in sales, while operating income is expected to range anywhere from $200 million to a $200 million loss. We'll see just how accurate these predictions are soon enough, so stay tuned.