Amazon Fire Phone Brings $120 Million Loss

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is set to send out the first units of its Fire Phone today, while the company’s shareholders are questioning the future of the business. Amazon has never been exactly profitable, but the company’s most recent quarterly loss (revealed on Thursday afternoon) appears to have shocked the company’s investors. The advent of the Fire Phone, and advertising for the Fire Phone, could mean more losses in the quarter ahead.

After the market closed on Thursday, Amazon showed off its earnings numbers for the three months through June. The company actually lost more than $120 million in the three months after taking in $19.34 billion in revenue. Amazon doesn’t have the margins of an Internet company, and it doesn’t have the margins of a retailer. The company looks a lot like an industrial steel manufacturer from its pure numbers.

Amazon Can’t Make A Profit

The key at Amazon is overwhelming investment. This is what the company’s management, led by CEO Jeff Bezos, says about its current period of zero profit. The company is doing everything it can to expand revenue. It’s not trying to inflate its profits by any significant margin, it’s simply trying to lay the groundwork for a future in which it controls a decent swathe of the entire Internet.

The Fire Phone isn’t helping matters. The enormous amount that Amazon has spent on it and other technologies in recent quarters is eating into profits, and bringing huge losses.

Amazon probably won’t post a loss for the full year, but its profit won’t be anything like a good margin, and the company isn’t even close to the stability required to pay out a dividend. Its share price is growing higher and higher, barring the misfortune that preys on the stock on this morning’s market.

Fire Phone Setbacks Plague Amazon

Yesterday’s earnings report, which showed off earnings much lower than expected, was a second blow to the Amazon Fire Phone before it made it to its official release. The device was already reviewed by tech journalists this week, and its features are apparently less than impressive. With investors fleeing from Amazon shares, the time might soon arrive for a reckoning of the company’s future, and it may not involve the Fire Phone.

Today’s share setback probably won’t bring out the activists, as investors are still likely following the lead of Mr. Bezos who has basically achieved what he’s been promising all along. Amazon’s yearly revenue is expected to hit $90.8 billion this year. The company’s major tech rivals Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), are expected to bring in $180 billion and $78.8 billion respectively in their current fiscal years.

Both of those companies may make a profit now, but as Amazon pivots toward margin expansion, which is expected sometime in the next decade, the company may find it has a lot of room to grow in a very short period. The risks are enormous however, as any investor holding the stock this morning is aware.

Disclosure: Author represents that he has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article at the time this article was submitted.