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Amazon’s profit more than tripled as pandemic continues

NEW YORK (AP) – The Amazon pandemic boom shows no signs of slowing down.

The company said Thursday its first-quarter profit more than tripled from a year ago, fueled by growth in online shopping. It also posted sales of more than $ 100 billion, the second consecutive quarter the company has reached this milestone.

Amazon is one of the few retailers to have benefited from the pandemic. As physical stores temporarily closed, people stuck in their homes turned to Amazon for groceries, cleaning supplies and more. It doesn’t seem to be dying out.

In the first three months of this year, the company reported $ 8.1 billion in profit, up from $ 2.5 billion the year before. Earnings per share were $ 15.79, about $ 6 more per share than Wall Street analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Revenue jumped 44% to $ 108.5 billion. Seattle-based Amazon is one of four U.S. companies to report quarterly revenue above $ 100 billion. The others are iPhone maker Apple, oil and gas company Exxon Mobil, and retailer Walmart.

Amazon said revenue will remain at that level in the second quarter, forecasting between $ 110 billion and $ 116 billion. Part of the reason why: He plans to host Prime Day, his popular selling event, during the quarter. Amazon has not specified a date for Prime Day, but has said it will happen before the end of June.

Besides online shopping, Amazon’s other business has also grown. Sales of its cloud computing business, which helps power the online operations of Netflix, McDonald’s and other companies, rose 32% in the quarter. And in its unit which includes its advertising business, where brands pay to have their products appear first when shoppers search the site, sales are up 77%.

Amazon’s growth comes as it grapples with activism from its workforce. Workers at a warehouse in Alabama tried to organize, saying they wanted better pay and more break time. But a majority of voters rejected the effort.

This week, Amazon said it was giving more than 500,000 workers a 50-cent to $ 3-an-hour hike starting next month to attract new workers. The company already pays at least $ 15 an hour.

The online shopping giant has launched a hiring wave to cope with a surge in orders. It had 1.27 million employees at the end of March, adding more than 430,000 people last year.

Shares of Amazon.com Inc., which rose 40% last year, rose 2.6% on Thursday after business hours.

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