Powered By Prime, Amazon Sales Soar, Profits Plunge

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The outlook underscored the high cost of Amazon's business model, which consistently delivers big sales gains and ploughs a chunk of that money back into the company by hiring workers, expanding its footprint and launching new products. The company reported operating expenses increased to $37.33 billion, compared to $29.12 billion a year ago.

Earlier this week, Jeff Bezos became the single wealthiest person in the world after a healthy bump in Amazon's stock price on Thursday morning sent the CEO's net worth to an incredible $90.9 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Understanding that online sales (when we say this we really mean Amazon) are not the only culprit responsible for horrible retail numbers is crucial in the analysis of retail stocks. India can even beat China in terms of population and government-friendly policies. He also founded Blue Origin, a space travel company that recently landed a rocket, and owns The Washington Post.

"Always plan and circulate an agenda before the meetings", he writes.

The world's largest online retailer forecast an operating income of $300 million to a loss of $400 million for the current quarter.

But you may find it hard to spot him on film, since the Vine he posted shows him pretty effectively disguised in a wrinkly grey mask. In other words, there will be more artificially intelligent entities than there are living people on Earth in less than five years' time. The total dumb cellphone handset market in the U.S.in 2006 was probably closer to $10 billion.

Those investments have helped Amazon attract more customers to its Prime membership service and boost sales. When markets opened on Thursday, his worth was measured at $90.6 billion, or about $500 million more than Gates'. A hefty portion of Amazon's profits is due to its web Services, large government contracts and cloud-computing units. If the stocks hold up today, Bezos - who owns around 80 million shares of Amazon - will add more than $800 million to his fortune.

And as Business Insider's Rich Feloni reports, other ingredients for a solid meeting include appointing a strong moderator, setting firm ground rules, and ensuring the discussion is relevant to all attendees beforehand. "Would you like to buy it?"

The company's shares, already up nearly 41 per cent this year, were down 3 per cent at $1 014.75 in after-hours trading. Yet time and again, the pillars of US media provide them all the critical rigor a high school paper typically provides the spring dance committee.

It remains to be seen which proposals - ranging from libraries to tech talent in Africa - have caught his imagination. He is the author of Active Value Investing (Wiley) and The Little Book of Sideways Markets (Wiley).

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