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Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) stock surged to finish up 3.87% at close today (Thursday) ahead of its Q1 2014 earnings reveal. Shares continued to rally in after-hours trading, up another 0.8% around 4:45 p.m. EDT.
Spoiler alert: There were no big surprises. In fact, Amazon nearly exactly matched Wall Street expectations and slightly beat revenue projections.
"I don't care whether Amazon misses today, I just care that it's the company's status quo," Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald said. "With Amazon, I'll take anything but no big surprises – only if there's a big surprise will I be concerned."
The Seattle, Wash.-based retail giant was projected to report earnings per share (EPS) of $0.23 on revenue of $19.4 billion for a 20.9% increase year over year, according to Thomson Reuters. Amazon came through with EPS of $0.23 per share on $19.74 billion in net sales, compared to $16.07 billion in first-quarter 2013.
"We get our energy from inventing on behalf of customers, and 2014 is off to a kinetic start," Amazon.com Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said in a press release today. "Our device team launched Fire TV, 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. The team is working hard to keep Fire TV in stock. Our retail team launched Prime Pantry, a new option available only to Prime members offering exclusive access to everyday essentials in non-bulk sizes – ranging from breakfast foods and popular soft drinks, to cleaning and personal care items."
Amazon additionally announced that streams on Prime Instant Video nearly tripled year over year.
Prior to today's earnings report, Amazon has missed on earnings estimates four quarters out of the last five, but averages a one-week post-earnings gain of 2.5%. Its shares are down around 15% in 2014, but are up approximately 300% over the last five years; in 2013 alone, AMZN stock went up 62%.
Fitz-Gerald was keen to watch two areas in the company's release today to hint at Amazon's future profitability: Amazon's shipping model and its sales.
Here's how the company did – and what to do with AMZN stock based on today's earnings…