Amazon (AMZN) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2011.
Operating cash flow increased 12% to $3.90 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $3.50 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2010. Free cash flow decreased 17% to $2.09 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $2.52 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2010.
Net sales increased 35% to $17.43 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $12.95 billion in fourth quarter 2010. Excluding the $101 million favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales would have grown 34% compared with fourth quarter 2010.
Operating income was $260 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $474 million in fourth quarter 2010. The favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter on operating income was $5 million.
Net income decreased 58% to $177 million in the fourth quarter, or $0.38 per diluted share, compared with net income of $416 million, or $0.91 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2010.
“We are grateful to the millions of customers who purchased the Kindle Fire and Kindle e-reader devices this holiday season, making Kindle our bestselling product across both the U.S. and Europe,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, in the press release. “Our millions of third-party sellers had a tremendous holiday season with 65% unit growth and now represent 36% of total units sold.”
• During the nine-week holiday period ending December 31, 2011, Kindle unit sales, including both the Kindle Fire and e-reader devices, increased 177% over the same period last year.
MacDailyNews Take: All Kindles, including low-end US$79 B&W Kindle eReaders, lumped together. Note the lack of a hard unit sales number; selling 100 units of anything then selling 277 units, results in a 177% increase, too.
During the same period last year, Amazon’s Kindle devices started at US$189, significantly higher than the $79 price for the low-end Kindle this holiday season. In other words, “nearly tripling” was the best Amazon could do after hacking the entry level price by so much?
• Kindle Fire is the #1 bestselling, most gifted, and most wished for product across the millions of items available on Amazon.com since its introduction 17 weeks ago.
MacDailyNews Take: If Kindle Fire is oh-so-popular, why doesn’t Amazon give the real numbers?
• Amazon launched Kindle Stores at Amazon.it and Amazon.es. Kindle moved to the top of the bestseller list on launch day in both countries and held the top spot this holiday season. The new Kindle was also the bestselling product on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de and Amazon.fr.
MacDailyNews Take: “Kindle.” Which Kindle? All Kindles? Why the obfuscation, Amazon?
First Quarter 2012 Guidance
• Net sales are expected to be between $12.0 billion and $13.4 billion, or to grow between 22% and 36% compared with first quarter 2011.
• Operating income (loss) is expected to be between $(200) million and $100 million, or between 162% decline and 69% decline compared with first quarter 2011.
• This guidance includes approximately $200 million for stock-based compensation and amortization of intangible assets, and it assumes, among other things, that no additional business acquisitions or investments are concluded and that there are no further revisions to stock-based compensation estimates.
Source: Amazon.com, Inc.
MacDailyNews Take: As always, Amazon gives no Kindle unit sales numbers. The charade continues.
MacDailyNews Note: Currently, Amazon shares have dropped 9.09% (-$17.68) to $176.76 in after-hours trading.
[UPDATE: 5:14pm EDT: Corrected 177% increase math as per ChrissyOne.]
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “ChrissyOne” for the heads up.]