Amazon, the world's biggest ecommerce website, kept the records coming as it reported its best quarterly profit performance in the company's history.
Seattle-based Amazon reported after the closing bell in New York on Thursday that net income more than doubled in the fourth quarter to $1.9bn, or $3.75 per share, compared with $749m, or $1.54 a share, in the same period a year ago.
The net income figure included a provisional tax benefit, derived from the recent US reforms, of about $789m. Operating income rose 69% to $2.1bn.
Full year 2017
For its full year, net sales rose 31% to $177.9bn, compared with 2016. However, operating income fell 2% to $4.1bn.
Full-year net income rose to $3bn, or $6.15 per share, compared with $.4bn, or $4.90 a share, in 2016.
The company said that in 2017 more than five billion items were shipped via Amazon Prime as more new members joined the service than in any previous year.
It added that on top of its current 130,000 employees, the company intended to hire a further 10,000 by 2021, and that it was seeking to invest more than $5bn in a second headquarters, having already reviewed 238 proposals across North America to host its new home.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and chief executive (left), praised the further development of Alexa, the voice operated system embedded in the company's Echo speakers and other Amazon-related gadgets.
"Our 2017 projections for Alexa were very optimistic, and we far exceeded them. We don’t see positive surprises of this magnitude very often," he said.
Shares in Amazon fell 4.2% to $1,390 on Thursday, but following the results, the shares up 5.61% to $1,468 in pre-market trade on Friday.
Picture courtesy of Amazon corporate website