Amazon Net Falls 45.2 Percent in Fourth Quarter; Company Posts Loss for Fiscal Year

SEATTLE-Spikes in operating expenses offset a healthy gain in sales to reduce's fourth-quarter net income by 45.2 percent, to $97 million. For the full fiscal year ending on Dec. 31, the website reported a net loss of $39 million, against net income last year of $631 million.

Total operating expenses were up 41.5 percent in dollars and 306 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 22.2 percent. Amazon posted significant increases in the expense categories of fulfillment, marketing, technology and content, and general and administrative. Plus, the company increased its provision for income taxes in the quarter by 126 percent.

Net sales in the quarter increased 22 percent to $21.3 billion. The result brought Amazon's net sales for the fiscal year to $61.1 billion, up 27.1 percent over the prior year.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, attributed part of the sales hike to consumers' response to the company's Kindle tablet category, whose sales jumped 70 percent last year. "We're excited and very grateful to our customers for their response to Kindle and our ever-expanding ecosystem and selection," Bezos said.

Amazon is projecting net sales for its fiscal first quarter this year to rise between 14 percent and 26 percent, to between $15 billion and $16.6 billion. It is also expecting the quarter to produce between a loss of $285 million to a gain of $65 million in operating income.

HFN Staff | News & Commentary

HFN provides detailed information on the key home classifications: Housewares, Tabletop, Floor Covering & Rugs, Furniture, Home Textiles, Lighting, Home Decor, Mattresses & Bedding, Gifts, Major Appliances and Consumer Electronics as well as Business, Finance and Retail.


Subscribe to
HFN Omnichannel
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.

Current Issue

  • HFN May digital issue


    May 2017

    COVER STORY: HFN Turns 90

    We commemorate HFN's 90th anniversary by paying tribute to the iconic retailer and supplier brands--and the people--that have helped the industry flourish, then and now.


    • Up & Coming Leaders - The home industry is in capable and visionary hands as this year’s 40 Under 40 list attests. Today’s young leaders span all disciplines and varied levels of operation.
    • Omnichannel Retailing - In the Mobile App World, Time is Money