Propelled primarily by the sales of 2.5 million copies of the new Harry Potter book, Amazon’s profits reach ed the stratosphere in the 3rd fiscal quarter of 2007. The company announced its third-quarter earnings in an online conference call on Tuesday, announcing a profit of $80 million, three times the $19 million it earned in the third quarter of 2006. Amazon reported sales of $3.26 billion, up 41% from $2.31 billion in the quarter last year. The company expects its overall 2007 net profits to be up by 33-36%, or somewhere north of 14 billion dollars. A replay of the webcast announcement can be heard on Amazon.
As you recall, my earlier interest in the announcement stemmed from the company’s September release of the public beta of its DRM-Free music download store. While generally overshadowed by the Harry Potter sales, Amazon’s Chief Executive Office, Jeff Bezos, did comment on the digital downloads, saying in the conference call that the company was happy with early results from the store.
"We are getting terrific feedback from customers," he said, Everybody loves the DRM-free format. Now the onus is on us to continue to convince music labels that this is a good way to sell their music."
Little more can be gained from the announcement with regard to the actual sales of MP3s. Hopefully more data will be released in the 4th Quarter announcement. The company intends to expand its digital offerings later this fall by introducing an electronic book reading device and offering downloadable e-books.
According to one research firm, Hitwise, Amazon is the leading benefactor of the web’s double-digit increase in web commerce retail sales, garnering 11.5% of the increase in traffic, followed by Wal-Mart, which received 5.4%.
Amazon, a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, Washington began operations in July 1995.