According to CNBC, investors were expecting smaller profits as the third quarter is typically a heavy investment period for Amazon ahead of the holiday season. But strong growth in North American sales and Amazon Web Services offset increased spending in new areas.
The company also offered a positive outlook for the fourth quarter, its largest quarter of the year.
Here are the most important numbers:
- Revenue: $43.7 billion vs. $42.14 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
- EPS: 52 cents vs. 3 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters
- AWS revenue: $4.58 billion vs. $4.51 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
AWS remains the the company's growth driver, jumping another 42 percent in sales. Amazon's cloud business is the company's most profitable unit that allows it to keep investing in the core business.
Investors continue to give a pass on Amazon's laser-thin profits. Operating profit dropped in all three major segments, by 40 percent in total to $347 million, as operating expenses grew 45 percent from a year ago. That resulted in an operating margin of just 0.8%, the lowest since September 2014.
Key to its success has been signing more people up for Amazon Prime, its fast-shipping and video-streaming club, whose members tend to buy more from the company. Revenue from subscription fees such as Prime grew 59 percent to $2.4 billion.