Amazon (AMZN) stock fell some 14% in after-hours trading Thursday after the company forecast its holiday quarter sales would be lighter than analysts had expected.
The e-commerce giant said it expects revenue for the final three months of the year to be between $140 billion to $148 billion, significantly below the $155 billion analysts surveyed by Refinitiv had expected. The weaker forecast comes as rising inflation and looming recession fears weigh on consumer purchasing decisions.
Amazon reported revenue of $127.1 billion for its third-quarter, a 15% increase from the prior year but just missing Wall Street estimates.
“There is obviously a lot happening in the macroeconomic environment, and we’ll balance our investments to be more streamlined without compromising our key long-term, strategic bets,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement accompanying the earnings release.
The company reported its Amazon Web Services segment sales increased 27% year-over-year to $20.5 billion – representing a slower pace of growth for a closely-watched business unit than Wall Street had expected.
But Amazon’s cloud computing division continues to be a strong profit driver for the company. Amazon posted a $2.9 billion profit for the three-month period, much improved from the prior quarter when it posted $2 billion net loss largely due to its investment in electric vehicle maker Rivian.
The latest results comes at a precarious time for the e-commerce giant. Amazon initially saw its business boom during the pandemic, as more consumers relied on online shopping. This year, however, the company is confronting a shift back to in-person shopping as well as a souring economic outlook has hampered consumers’ demand.
Jesse Cohen, a senior analyst at Investing.com, said Amazon’s earnings report “proves it’s not immune to the challenges facing the tech industry at large as it struggles in the face of worsening macroeconomic headwinds, such as soaring inflation and worries about a possible recession.”