Friday, July 27, 2012

Razor thin

There are some headlines this morning on Amazon's quarterly earnings, in which their razor-thin margins got even more so. MG Siegler opines thusly:
Yes, I realize Amazon is viewed as a growth business (forgoing short-term profits for long-term gains). But these numbers keep going the wrong way. At some point, they have to start going the right way, right?
I suspect that the answer to that question is "wrong" -- at least for the foreseeable future. Jeff Bezos plays one card consistently, and that's the "trade profits for market share" card. If you look at Amazon's historical earnings, they have a remarkable ability to stay just above (or below) the break-even line. Bezos is in it for the long term, and his long-term play is to keep prices as low as possible until his competitors either go out of business or leave the market in search of profits.

Lately I've heard Amazon compared to Apple, but that is a fundamental error. Amazon is not the new Apple, and has no intention of becoming so. Amazon is the new Dell.