Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Amazon Margin Comparison

Amazon is the latest super multiple stock to miss earnings and has gotten hurt in the aftermarket just like NFLX did yesterday.  Although AMZN's revenue growth continued to be strong in the 3rd quarter, the miss was driven by margins, which are being pressured by investment in new capacity.

While it makes sense that margins would be pressured by rapid expansion, it's interesting that Amazon's have been pressured so much.  Compared to brick and mortar retailers, Amazon is supposed to be much more efficient, but so far its margins paint an opposite picture.  On both a gross and operating margin basis, AMZN significantly lags its brick and mortar peers.

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If Amazon's model is so great, then why are expenses growing just as fast as revenues?  Shouldn't there be more operating leverage?

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