For now, Amazon.com's (AMZN) - Get Report mixed results and guidance are yieldng a bit of profit-taking for a stock that has risen over 30% this year.

After the bell on Thursday, Amazon reported Q2 revenue of $63.4 billion (up 20% annually) and GAAP EPS of $5.22. Revenue beat a consensus analyst estimate of $62.52 billion, while EPS missed a consensus of $5.56.

And following a pretty strong July Prime Day event, Jeff Bezos' firm guided for Q3 revenue of $66 billion to $70 billion (up 17% to 24%), which compares favorably to a consensus of $67.28 billion at its midpoint. On the other hand, operating income guidance of $2.1 billion to $3.1 billion is below a consensus of $4.39 billion.

Amazon's shares finished after-hours trading down 1.7% to $1,941.15. Here are some notable takeaways from the company's earnings report and call.

1. Amazon's 1-Day Shipping Efforts Boosted E-Commerce Growth

Three months after Amazon disclosed it aims to make 1-day shipping the norm for Prime orders, the company reported its North American segment revenue rose 20% annually to $38.65 billion; that's above a consensus estimate of $37.28 billion, with growth accelerating from Q1's 17%. On the call, CFO Brian Olsavsky indicated the sales boost provided by the 1-day initiative was the biggest factor behind the North American acceleration.

International segment revenue, which remained pressured by the dollar's strength, grew 12% to $16.37 billion, slightly missing a consensus of $16.41 billion. On a constant currency (CC) basis, International growth improved slightly to 17% from Q1's 16%. Olsavsky noted International sales saw a limited impact from the 1-day effort in Q2, and will see a bigger impact in Q3.

Amazon also reported that its total "online stores" (direct e-commerce) revenue rose 14% to $31.05 billion, beating a consensus of $30.04 billion. Third-party seller services revenue, which carries higher margins, rose 23% to $11.96 billion, nearly matching consensus estimates.

One-day shipping might especially be driving stronger order growth for lower-cost items. Amazon's average selling price (ASP) per unit sale fell in Q2, while its paid unit accelerated to 18% from a Q1 level of 10%.

2. AWS Grew Strongly, But Missed Estimates

Following a Q1 in which it saw 41% growth, Amazon Web Services (AWS) segment revenue grew 37% in Q2 to $8.38 billion, missing an $8.49 billion consensus. The segment's operating profit rose 29% to $2.12 billion; that spells an operating margin of 25.3%, down a bit from a year-ago level of 26.9%.

When asked about AWS' performance, Olsavsky insisted all remains well for the public cloud giant, and noted tough comps (AWS revenue was up 49% in Q2 2018) impacted its growth. He also suggested AWS' operating margin pressure stemmed from a pickup in sales/marketing hiring and (to a lesser extent) stock compensation expenses, rather than price pressure.

Last week, Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report reported its Azure cloud unit (AWS' biggest rival) saw revenue grow 64% annually during its June quarter, with stronger growth seen for the cloud infrastructure (IaaS) and developer platform (PaaS) services that compete directly against AWS. However, AWS, Azure and Alphabet's  (GOOGL) - Get Report  Google Cloud Platform (GCP) all still appear to be taking public cloud services share from rivals with less scale and small feature sets.

Amazon.com, Microsoft and Alphabet are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells AMZN, MSFT or GOOGL? Learn more now.

3. Shipping Expenses Grew Rapidly

1-day has a price: Amazon's global shipping costs rose 36% annually in Q2 to $8.13 billion, a much higher growth rate than Q1's 21%. This in turn was a key reason why Amazon's gross margin (GM), which has steadily risen in recent years thanks to the strong growth seen by high-margin services revenue streams, came in at 42.7%, below a consensus of 43.3%. GM still rose by 0.6 percentage points annually, but this was a much smaller rate of growth than Q1's 3.4-point increase.

Olsavsky disclosed the additional transportation costs needed to support the 1-day effort in Q2 were "a little bit higher" than prior guidance of about $800 million, and that Amazon also saw other cost/margin pressures such as "some additional transition costs in our warehouses." He added that costs related to the 1-day effort are expected to keep growing in Q3, and are baked into Amazon's guidance.

"[It] does create a shock to the system," he said about the 1-day effort. "We're working through that now. We expect we'll be working through that for a number of quarters, but when the dust settles, we will regain our cost efficiency over time."

4. Spending in Other Areas Also Picked Up

Amazon's fulfillment spend rose 17% to $9.27 billion, after having grown 10% in Q1. Marketing spend -- boosted by AWS hiring as well as ad spending to promote hardware and international Prime Video content -- grew 48% to $4.29 billion, up from a Q1 clip of 36%. Tech/content spend rose 25% to $9.07 billion, slightly up from a Q1 clip of 23%. And general & administrative (G&A) spend grew 14% to $1.27 billion, up from a Q1 rate of 10%.

Direct purchases of property and equipment, which is driven in large part by warehouse capital spending, grew just 10% to $3.56 billion. However, purchases of property and equipment via capital leases, which is driven by AWS capex, grew 42% to $3.31 billion, after having grown just 16% in Q1.

Amazon's headcount rose 13% annually to 653,300, with Olsavsky stating headcount for technical workers grew twice as fast.

5. Amazon's Revenue Mix Shift Towards Services Continues

Amazon's total product revenue rose 13% annually to $35.86 billion, while its total services revenue rose 31% to $27.55 billion.

In addition to seeing 37% AWS growth and 23% seller services growth, Amazon saw its subscription services revenue -- driven in large part by Prime membership fees, but also getting contributions from businesses such as Music Unlimited and Prime Video Channels -- rise 37% to $4.68 billion. And its "Other" revenue, which is now dominated by ads, grew 37% to $3 billion.

TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa previously covered Amazon's earnings report and call through a live blog.


Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon.com are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells MSFT, GOOGL or AMZN? Learn more now.