Amazon saw revenue grow 7% in the second quarter of 2022 but reported a $2 billion net loss, marking its second consecutive quarterly loss. 

In the first three months of 2022, the company reported a net loss of nearly $4 billion. Both quarters, Amazon attributed the loss to its investment in electric vehicle company Rivian Automotive and its declining valuation. Amazon cited a $7.6 billion loss because of Rivian’s shrinking valuation in the first quarter of 2022 and a $3.9 billion loss from its investment in the second quarter of 2022.

At the same time, Amazon faced extra expenses from economic pressures from inflation, increased fuel and shipping costs, and excess space in its fulfillment center and transportation networks. 

Shareholders remained optimistic about the company: Amazon’s stock price shot up nearly 12% Thursday.

“Despite continued inflationary pressures in fuel, energy and transportation cost, we’re making progress on the more controllable costs we referenced last quarter, particularly improving the productivity of our fulfillment network,” CEO Andy Jassy wrote in a statement Thursday.

Amazon reported net sales were up 7%, from $113 billion in the second quarter of 2021 to $121 billion in the second quarter this year. Taking out the $3.6 billion impact from changes in foreign exchange rates, Amazon says net sales increased 10%. 

Advertising

Operating income was down from $7.7 billion in the second quarter of 2021 to $3.3 billion this quarter. Operating expenses in the second quarter of 2022 totaled $117 billion, up from $105 billion in the same time period last year. 

In the second quarter of 2021, Amazon reported net income of $7.8 billion, or 76 cents per diluted share. This year, Amazon reported a net loss of $2 billion, or 20 cents per diluted share. 

When comparing the two quarters, Amazon noted that its annual two-day sales event, Prime Day, moved from the second quarter of 2021 to the third quarter of 2022. This year’s event sold more than 300 million items

This quarter, Jassy said Amazon is “seeing revenue accelerate” as it improves benefits for Prime members by investing in faster shipping speeds and adding new features, like free delivery from Grubhub.

More

Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing business, reported $19.7 billion in net sales, up from $14.8 billion in the same time period last year.

Advertising

On the retail side of the business, third-party sellers represented 57% of all units sold, the highest percentage in company history, Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said Thursday.

Pressure from unexpected expenses is starting to ease, Olsavsky said. 

In the first quarter of 2022, Amazon saw an extra $6 billion in costs related to inflation, increased shipping and fuel prices, pandemic-related shutdowns in China, productivity delays as workers called out sick, and excess space in its fulfillment network. In the second quarter, that total dropped to $4 billion, and Amazon estimates it will decrease to less than $3 billion in the third quarter. 

The company has adjusted staffing levels and slowed the expansion of its fulfillment network to “better align” with customer expectations, Olsavsky said. 

As inflation drives up prices across the board, Olsavsky said Amazon did not notice a change in consumer spending on its e-commerce platform and it did not anticipate an impact on its advertising business, even if customers chose to cut down on their advertising dollars. 

“No one’s immune” to budget cuts, Olsavsky said, but Amazon has a “very strong value proposition, particularly in down economies, if that happens.” 

Advertising

But Amazon is bracing itself for increased electricity costs for its AWS data centers.

Tech giants are also not immune to economic downturns: Microsoft and Google have already said they plan to slow hiring to prepare for a potential recession, and Olsavsky said Thursday that Amazon may also slow its pace. It will target its hiring efforts in areas that help “grow products for customers,” he said, naming AWS and advertising.

“I think it’s right for people to step back and question their hiring plans,” he said. “I don’t think you’ll see us hiring at the same pace as we did over the past few years, but we will continue to hire.”