Management Discusses Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript (AMZN)

Q4 2010 Earnings Call

January 27, 2011 5:00 pm ET


Robert Eldridge -

Thomas Szkutak - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President


Sandeep Aggarwal - Caris & Company

Steve Weinstein - Pacific Crest Securities, Inc.

Brian Pitz - UBS Investment Bank

Spencer Wang - Crédit Suisse AG

Youssef Squali - Jefferies & Company, Inc.

James Friedland - Cowen and Company, LLC

Benjamin Schachter - Macquarie Research

Colin Sebastian - Lazard Capital Markets LLC

Justin Post - BofA Merrill Lynch

Douglas Anmuth - Barclays Capital

James Mitchell - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Heath Terry - Canaccord Genuity

Jeetil Patel - Deutsche Bank AG

Mark Mahaney - Citigroup Inc



Good day, and welcome to the Amazon Quarterly Conference Call. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Rob Eldridge. Please go ahead, sir.

Robert Eldridge

Hello, and welcome to our Q4 2010 financial results conference call. Joining us today is Tom Szkutak, our CFO. We will be available for questions after our prepared remarks.

The following discussion and responses to your questions reflect management's views as of today, January 27, 2011 only and will include forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially. Additional information about the factors that could potentially impact our financial results is included in today's press release and our filings with the SEC, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K.

As you listen to today's call, we encourage you to have our press release in front of you, which includes our financial results, as well as metrics and commentary on the quarter.

During this call, we will discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. In our press release, slides accompanying this webcast and our filings with the SEC, each of which is posted on our IR website, you will find additional disclosures regarding these non-GAAP measures, including reconciliations of these measures with comparable GAAP measures. Finally, unless otherwise stated, all comparisons in this call will be against our results for the comparable period of 2009.

Now I'll turn the call over to Tom.

Thomas Szkutak

Thanks, Rob. I'll begin with comments on our fourth quarter financial results. Trailing 12-month operating cash flow increased 6% to $3.5 billion. Trailing 12-month free cash flow decreased 14% to $2.52 billion. Return on invested capital was 34%, down from 66%. ROIC is TTM free cash flow divided by the average total assets minus current liabilities, excluding the current portion of long-term debt over five quarter ends.

The combination of common stock and stock-based awards outstanding was 465 million shares compared with 461 million shares. Worldwide revenue grew 36% to $12.95 billion or 37%, excluding the $139 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates. We're grateful to our customers who continue to take advantage of our low prices, vast selection of free shipping offers, including Amazon Prime.

Media revenue increased to $5.23 billion, up 12% or 13%, excluding foreign exchange rates. EGM revenue increased to $7.39 billion, up 60% or 62%, excluding foreign exchange rates. Worldwide EGM increased to 57% of worldwide sales, up from 48%. Worldwide unit growth was 43%. Active customer accounts exceeded 130 million. Worldwide active seller accounts were more than 2 million. Seller units were 34% of total units. Consolidated gross profit grew 33% to $2.63 billion and gross margin was 20.3%.

Now I'll discuss operating expenses, excluding stock-based compensation. Fulfillment, Marketing, Technology and Content and G&A combined was $2.01 billion or a 15.5% of sales, up 101 basis points year-over-year. Fulfillment was $1.06 billion or 8.2% of revenue compared with 7.7%. Tech and Content was $456 million or 3.5% of revenue compared with 3.1%. Marketing was $368 million or 2.8% of revenue, consistent with prior year.

Now we'll talk about our segment results and consistent with prior periods, we do not allocate the segments or stock-based compensation or other operating expense line items. In the North America segment, revenue grew 45% to $7.21 billion. Media revenue grew 13% to $2.37 billion. EGM revenue grew 71% to $4.56 billion, representing 63% of North America revenues, up from 54%. North America segment operating income increased 6% to $295 million, a 4.1% operating margin.

In the International segment. Revenue grew 26% to $5.74 billion. Revenue growth was 29%, adjusting for the $143 million year-over-year unfavorable foreign exchange impact during the quarter. Media revenue grew 11% to $2.87 billion or 13% excluding FX. And EGM revenue grew 46% to $2.83 billion or 50%, excluding foreign exchange. EGM now represents 49% of international revenues, up from 43%. International segment operating income increased 3% to $327 million, a 5.7% operating margin. Excluding the unfavorable impact from foreign exchange rates, International segment operating income increased 16%.

CSOI grew 4% to $622 million, or 4.8% of revenue, down 146 basis points year-over-year. Excluding the $18 million unfavorable impact from foreign exchange, CSOI grew 7%. Unlike CSOI, GAAP operating income includes stock-based compensation expense and other operating expense. GAAP operating income was relatively flat at $474 million or 3.7% of net sales. Our income tax expense was $84 million in Q4 or 17% rate for the quarter. GAAP net income was $416 million or $0.91 per diluted share compared with $384 million and $0.85 per diluted share.

Now I'll discuss full year results. Revenue grew 40% to $34.2 billion. North America revenue grew 45% to $18.71 billion, and International grew 33% to $15.5 billion, 34% growth excluding year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates. Consolidated segment operating income or CSOI grew 23% to $1.94 billion or 25%, excluding $28 million of unfavorable year-over-year impact from foreign exchange, and operating margin decreased 75 basis points to 5.7%. GAAP operating income grew 25% to $1.41 billion or 4.1% of net sales.

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