Amazon []has been one of the biggest names synonymous with how
the consumer masses are experiencing life under lockdown: it?s site is a way to
buy anything from soup to nuts, and to stay entertained; but also a source of
major frustration, when you find yourself unable to book slots for deliveries,
or are facing an army of sellers trying to price gouge you for hot items like
masks or toilet paper. Today, the companyreported first quarter earnings
[] that bore out the first of these in spades, but at a cost to profitability.

The company reported net sales of $75.5 billion, up?26% on a year ago, a huge
boost on the $59.7 billion it made in net sales in the first quarter a year ago,
with $41 billion of that attributable to product sales and $33 billion to
services (which includes AWS, but also streaming and other non-physical goods).

But earnings per share took a hit, with basic EPS at $5.09 and diluted EPS at
$5.01, and net income declining down to $2.535 billion versus $3.561 billion a
year ago.

Operating income was also down to $4 billion versus operating income of $4.4
billion in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts on average wereexpecting
[]EPS of $6.25 on revenues
of $73.61 billion in sales.

Jeff Bezos [], the colorful founder and
CEO of the company, acknowledged the challenges even the mighty Amazon is
facing, and said that the company will be doubling down on spending its profits
to face up to serving people during the COVID-19 pandemic, whatever it might

Amazon Web Services accounted for $10.2 billion in sales, up 33% on the same
quarter a year ago. North America accounts for about $44 billion of the
company?s net sales, versus $19 billion for the international segment.

At a time when we?ve seen tens of thousands of people laid off across the
technology sector, Amazon has been one of the few companies to hire,
specifically to staff up with 100,000 extra workers across warehouses and its
logistics network to meet surging demand from buyers. That has not always been
smooth sailing however, with accusations of poor and potentially
health-threatening working conditions.

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