Amazon raises price of Prime membership — Business Briefs

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Additionally, the National Football League said Thursday it renewed its deal to bring Thursday Night Football to the Amazon Prime Video streaming service for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. But during the analyst call, it wasn't all good news - at least for customers. It acquired Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion past year to help it send groceries to shoppers' doorsteps. It's the second time Amazon's quarterly profit has topped $1 billion. As reported earlier, for the full year of 2017, Amazon's losses for worldwide business had hit about $3 billion as it aggressively spent in the India market fighting rivals like Flipkart.

It posted a Q1 net income of 1.63 billion dollars, or 3.27 dollars per diluted share, compared with a net income of 724 million dollars, or 1.48 dollars per diluted share in the first quarter of 2017. During 2017, AWS growth hovered around 45 percent, which is still quite healthy for a business the size and age of AWS, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos singled out the group for praise in his scripted press release comments accompanying the release of Amazon's overall results.

As services expanded, so too are the costs - prompting the price hike. Now that figure is 100 million. Sales, including more than $4 billion contributed by Whole Foods Market stores that Amazon didn't own a year ago, surged 42 percent, to $51 billion.

A view of the new Amazon logistic center with the company's logo in Dortmund.

"There's all kinds of new features that we've continually added to the Prime program", Mr. Olsavsky said.

Revenue from third-party sellers paying to promote their products on Amazon.com was an unusually large bright spot during the first quarter, Reuters said.

The Seattle-based company reported net income of $1.63 billion, or $3.27 per share, in the three months ending March 31.

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Amazon's stock has outperformed the S&P 500.

This year's Amazon shares are now up about 30 percent.

But rival Microsoft is growing its cloud biz at a faster rate.

"The value of Prime to customers has never been greater", Olsavsky said Thursday. We're also adding other benefits, Prime benefits.

"Virtually every opportunity that Amazon invests in is going to be structurally higher margin than its core ultra-low margin retail business", Ben Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie Securities, wrote in a recent note to investors. One of their big Prime Video projects is turning Lord of the Rings into a television series.

What has changed, however, is that Amazon is becoming a fundamentally more profitable company.

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