Amazon on Thursday posted its consolidated financial results for the second quarter of the year, revealing a 25 increase in net sales which amounted to $38 billion in the three-month period ending June 30, a significant increase compared to $30.4 billion in Q2 2016. The Seattle, Washington-based company still missed analyst expectations in terms of earnings per share, posting an EPS of 40 cents compared to over $1.40 that most industry watchers were expecting. While the report led to the tech giant's stock dropping by approximately three percentage points in after-hours trading on Thursday, the overall outlook remains positive, with Amazon posting growth in the majority of other aspects and signaling that it's ready for yet another massive expansion of its operations.
The firm's operating cash flow in the second quarter of 2017 amounted to $17.9 billion for the last 12 months, a 37 percent increase compared to $13 billion reported for the three-month period ending June 30, 2016. The free cash flow also increased by a significant margin year-on-year, amounting to $9.7 billion, i.e. $2 billion more than what the company posted in Q2 2016. Whereas Amazon is still investing in a broad range of industries in a rather aggressive manner, the company's bottom line is currently being affected by its rising expenses, with the tech giant posting a 51 percent decrease in operating income which amounted to $628 million in Q2 2017, a significant decline compared to $1.3 billion recorded over the same period last year. The figure was mostly affected by a 44 percent increase in marketing costs which took $2.2 billion from the company's budget from April 1 to June 30, with its tech and content spending increasing by 43 percent to $5.5 billion in Q2 2017.
The third annual Prime Day was one of the main positives that Amazon was looking to highlight in its latest financial report, noting how the sale was the largest global shopping event in its history that saw over 40 million products shipped. The e-commerce giant also placed an emphasis on its artificial intelligence (AI) endeavors, stating that the Alexa Skills store now boasts over 15,000 skills and continues to grow at a rapid pace, whereas services like AmazonFresh and Prime Now are still expanding to new territories including Germany and Singapore. In the run-up to the release of its latest financials, Amazon also announced its first domestic jobs fair, revealing how it's now looking to hire 50,000 Americans.