Analysts Eagerly Await Amazon's First-Quarter Results

By Cindy Waxer April 26, 2011

All eyes are on today and the Internet giant prepares to report its first-quarter results after the closing bell.

According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, Wall Street analysts anticipate that Amazon will report a first-quarter profit of 61 cents per share – a drop from 66 cents last year. However, they also expect $9.51 billion in sales – a 33.4 percent spike from last year.

Without a doubt, investors will be listening for news of Amazon’s growth in the areas of books and electronics. So too will sales of the company’s Kindle e-reader keep analysts buzzing. But probably of greatest curiosity is the success Amazon has achieved in the building of its cloud computing arm.

According to an Associated Press article, Amazon “has been willing to sacrifice some profitability to win customers and build its new businesses. It has invested heavily in areas such as "cloud computing" -- which allows companies to store data on its servers -- to take on its rivals Google Inc and Apple Inc.”

Unfortunately, the timing could be better. Just this morning, Amazon got its cloud computing services, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), back up and running after nearly a week-long outage. According to Amazon's AWS status dashboard, the problems began around 1:41am PT when sites such as Foursquare began experiencing delays and errors when connecting to Amazon’s cloud computing servers.

For all the cost savings and convenience promised by cloud computing services such as Amazon’s AWS, there has been widespread criticism of the pay-as-you-go technology.

Earlier this year, reported that a Germany-based security researcher’s claims he could hack into protected networks using software that runs on Amazon’s cloud-based computers, according to a Reuters report.

Technical glitches aside, it’ll be interesting to see how’s cloud computing success fits into its game plan, and how analysts and investors will react to its role in the company’s long-term growth strategy.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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