Investors are anxiously awaiting the release of Amazon's (AMZN) - Get Report  second-quarter results after the closing bell on Friday.

Some analysts have sky-high expectations, and if Amazon exceeds them, the stock could soar to new highs, delivering tidy profits to investors.

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However, should Amazon miss projections, its stock could tank.

And it won't be helped by its successful second Prime Day, as that took place after the quarter ended.

Amazon has had both quarterly hits and misses recently.

For instance, Amazon's fourth-quarter revenue of $35.75 billion, which was up 21.9% from a year earlier, missed estimates by $180 million. But in the first quarter, Amazon beat expectations by more than $1 billion.

Analysts expect Amazon, which offers stiff competition to traditional retailers such as Target and Walmart, to report second-quarter sales of $29.56 billion, reflecting year-over-year growth of 27.5% from $23.18 billion a year earlier. 

This would actually mark small sequential growth over the $29.13 billion in sales that Amazon recorded for the first quarter.

But Amazon itself expects $29.3 billion in sales.

Meanwhile, analysts expect second-quarter earnings of $1.11 a share, up from 19 cents a year earlier.

The company will also offer third-quarter guidance, which would reflect revenue gains from Prime Day. Analysts project third-quarter sales of $31.65 billion.

Amazon has found a new wave of profitability, thanks to its growing Amazon Web Services cloud and software business segment, which is giving Alphabet andMicrosoft a run for their money. AWS remains a big draw for investors, because though e-commerce adds a gargantuan amount of money to sales, it doesn't bring in huge profits.

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A higher mix of AWS revenue and profits will lift the company much higher. However, AWS' worldwide expansion should incur costs that could offset these gains.

Another area of interest is Amazon's third-party marketplace. The marketplace is similar to what Alibaba or eBay offer, with Amazon getting a commission or fee for giving third-party sellers a platform.

Along with AWS, this segment is one of two main pillars supporting Amazon's profitability.

Some say that there are possible signs of a third-party marketplace slowdown, which would be a big problem for the company, so watch out for signs of business deceleration in that unit.

Analysts will also be watching for results from the company's international segment. Despite its big successes in India and other global markets, this segment could become a loss-making venture.

Because expectations are running high, Amazon will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to outperform in all areas.

This sets the stage for short-term weakness in the stock, which trades at 74.15 times its forward price-earnings ratio, especially if second-quarter earnings are in line but the guidance isn't great.

Investors should buckle up and prepare for a wild ride.


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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.