NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Like Jim Cramer often says, if you own a stock or are thinking about buying one, you need to listen to the company's conference call. There's really no excuse not to. Practically every company makes a replay of their call available on their investor relations Web site via Webcast. You can easily find transcripts of most calls, for free, online. That's where the magic happens.
|Jeff Bezos, chairman and CEO of Amazon.com, introduces the Kindle Fire.|
In terms of the Kindle Fire, we are pleased with the growth that we're seeing and customers are buying a lot of content. And you're seeing that when you look at particularly in North America. When you look at our North American media growth from Q4 to Q1, you're seeing that accelerate. And that's certainly a big part of it. And so we're very pleased with what's happening, and we're going to continue to add more and more content for customers and across all of our digital categories. And we think we have a great value proposition for customers today, and we're going to continue to make that better over time.Kindle Fire is doing exactly what Jeff Bezos intended for it to do. It is not competing with Apple's ( AAPL) iPad. If Tim Cook does what Steve Jobs considered unthinkable and produces a mini-iPad, I hope Jobs's wife pleads with the board to fire Cook. Steve would have wanted that. Under Jobs, Apple never reacted to perceived threats. And, in this case, they would be reacting to what is the farthest thing from a threat.
Net sales increased 34% to $13.18 billion in the first quarter, compared with $9.86 billion in first quarter 2011 . . .Short-term, and warranted, pressure is what makes things like margins, cash flow and guidance look "bad," though not nearly as bad as expected in many cases. Amazon continues to reinvest in its business. Szkutak noted on the call that the company still intends to open 13 fulfillment centers in 2012. The company spent $386 million in Q1. The CFO explains:
North America segment sales . . . were $7.43 billion, up 36% from first quarter 2011 . . .
International segment sales . . . were $5.76 billion, up 31% from first quarter 2011 . . .
Worldwide Media sales grew 19% to $4.71 billion . . .
Worldwide Electronics and Other General Merchandise sales grew 43% to $7.97 billion . . .
The increase in capital expenditures reflects additional investments in support of continued business growth, consisting of investments in technology infrastructure, including the Amazon Web Services and additional capacity to support our fulfillment operations. . . .When Jeff Bezos decides it's time to throttle back on spending, $223, the price AMZN topped out at in post-earnings after-market trading will be a distant memory. In fact, at that point we'll probably talk more about the prospects of AMZN hitting $1,000 per share than AAPL.
We expect capital expenditures including capitalized software development to be approximately $0.8 billion to $0.9 billion. These anticipated investments are driven primarily by our expectations of continued business growth, consisting of investments in technology infrastructure, including Amazon Web Services and additional capacity to support our fulfillment operations.