So Amazon is bigger than Walmart. When will Alibaba overtake Walmart? That will be the day, since there’ll be no help from cloud services
The surge added another $40 billion or so to Amazon’s market cap. That will almost assuredly propel it to be more valuable than Walmart for the first time when the stock market opens Friday, making this a deeply symbolic moment for e-commerce and the Internet. It is also a nice present for Amazon, which celebrated its 20th birthday last week.
“Holy cow, what a quarter,” said Jason Moser, an analyst with the Motley Fool website and an Amazon investor. “They blew that thing out of the water.”
Amazon’s second-quarter profit amounted to 19 cents a share. A year ago, the company lost 27 cents a share. Analysts had been predicting another loss of 13 cents.
Revenue was better than expected, too, up 20 percent to $23.2 billion. That was about $800 million more than forecast.
One big contribution to the improved profit and revenue was Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing division whose numbers were broken out for the first time in the first quarter. A.W.S. is the undisputed leader in the sector, outdistancing both Microsoft and Google, but analysts had been wondering if price cuts would hamper growth.