Press Release

<< Back Releases Preliminary First Quarter Highlights -- Sales Exceed $695 Million, Fueled in Part by Continued Strong Growth in Electronics

SEATTLE--April 9, 2001--

Pro Forma Operating Loss Slightly Below $50 Million; Reconfirms 2001 Guidance, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN) today announced the following preliminary results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2001 (all comparisons are to the first quarter of 2000):

  • Net sales are expected to exceed $695 million, an increase of more than 21% over net sales of $574 million, fueled by strong growth in electronics and international.
  • Gross profit is expected to exceed $175 million, an increase of over 35% compared to gross profit of $128 million.
  • Pro forma operating loss is expected to be slightly less than $50 million compared to a pro forma operating loss of $99 million. Pro forma net loss is expected to be $0.22 per share or less, an improvement over pro forma net loss of $0.35 per share.
  • U.S. books, music and video gross profit is expected to increase more than 30% on very slight sales growth.
  • Cash and marketable securities are expected to be over $640 million, and the company continues to expect cash and marketable securities to be over $900 million at December 31, 2001.
  • Net loss is expected to be less than $255 million, down from a net loss of $308 million. Excluding this quarter's portion of the previously announced restructuring charge, the net loss is expected to be less than $150 million.
  • Annualized inventory turnover is expected to be approximately 12, up from 9 in the prior year.

In addition, the company reiterated its 2001 guidance. "We'd like to again thank our customers for an excellent quarter," said Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer. "For the fifth consecutive quarter we saw substantial improvement in our operations and bottom-line performance. Electronics demonstrated especially strong growth and improvements." expects to release complete first-quarter 2001 results after market close on Tuesday, April 24, 2001. A conference call to discuss first quarter 2001 financial results and 2001 business outlook will be Webcast live on Tuesday, April 24, 2001, at 5:00 p.m. EDT/2:00 p.m. PDT. This conference call will be available at through June 30, 2001, and will contain forward-looking statements and other material information.

This press release contains preliminary and unaudited statements regarding results for the first quarter of 2001, including statements relating to expectations of net sales, gross profit, pro forma operating loss, cash and marketable securities, net loss, inventory and other results of operations. Actual results could differ materially for a variety of reasons, including customer returns and refunds, other revenue-related adjustments, inventory-related adjustments, and actual operating and non-operating expenses and adjustments. In addition, this press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are inherently difficult to predict. Actual results could differ materially for a variety of reasons, including, among others, the rate of growth of the Internet and online commerce, customer spending patterns, the amount that invests in new business opportunities and the timing of those investments, the mix of products sold to customers, the mix of net sales derived from product as compared to services, risks of inventory management, the magnitude of losses arising from investments accounted for under the equity method, the degree to which the company enters into service relationships and other strategic transactions, fluctuations in the value of securities and non-cash payments receives in connection with such transactions, and risks of distribution and fulfillment throughput and productivity. Other risks and uncertainties include, among others,'s anticipated losses, significant amount of indebtedness, competition, seasonality, potential fluctuations in operating results, management of potential growth, risks of system interruption, consumer trends, risk of fulfillment center optimization, inventory risks, limited operating history, risks related to fraud and Amazon Payments, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, strategic alliances and strategic partnerships. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000, and all subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

Notes on Financial Presentation

The financial highlights in this release are preliminary and unaudited and should not be considered a complete disclosure of our quarterly results. Financial results are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.

Certain pro forma information regarding our results from operations is provided as a complement to results provided in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. Pro forma operating loss excludes stock-based compensation costs, amortization of goodwill and other intangibles, and impairment-related and other costs (including restructuring charges).

Pro forma net loss excludes stock-based compensation costs, amortization of goodwill and other intangibles, impairment-related and other costs (including restructuring charges), non-cash gains and losses, equity in losses of equity-method investees, and the cumulative effect of change in accounting principle. Management measures the progress of the business using this pro forma information because it closely correlates with the operations of the company.

For further information about our financial results, as reported in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, see Item 6 of Part II, "Selected Consolidated Financial Data," and Item 8 of Part II, "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data," included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000.

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About (Nasdaq:AMZN) opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection, along with online auctions and free electronic greeting cards. seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online. lists millions of unique items in categories such as electronics, kitchen and housewares, books, music, DVDs, videos, camera and photo items, toys, software, computer and video games, tools and hardware, outdoor living and wireless products. Through zShops, any business or individual can sell virtually anything to Amazon's more than 30 million cumulative customers, and with Amazon Payments, sellers can accept credit card transactions, avoiding the hassles of offline payments. operates four international Web sites:,, and It also operates the Internet Movie Database (, the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 250,000 movies and entertainment titles and 1million cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1891 to 2003.

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