Amazon reported revenues of $107 billion in full-year 2015, a 20% increase over the prior year. Its Amazon Web Services unit was a bright spot, showing solid growth for the full year and for Q4 2015. The company is investing heavily in catering to that consumer, and falling short of Wall Street's earnings expectations in the process.
CEO Jeff Bezos himself invoked that 20-year history as he offered a justification for falling short on earnings. "It still feels like day one," he said in the earnings announcement. "Twenty years ago, I was driving the packages to the post office myself and hoping we might one day afford a forklift. This year, we pass $100 billion in annual sales and serve 300 million customers." Amazon continues to invest in new ways to serve consumers, and sees a continued expansion of opportunity in front of it, Bezos added.
One of those investments is making Prime Now deliveries, which are free two-hour deliveries to its Amazon Prime customers in 14 metropolitan areas. Such deliveries "are difficult to make and expensive, but customers love it," said CFO Brian Olsavsky on the earnings call. Amazon now employs 30,000 automated pick robots in its chain of worldwide distribution centers, he noted.
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