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Amazon’s cloud again boosts profits but sales guidance disappoints

January 31, 2019 / ROBERT HOF

Cloud computing keeps wagging Amazon.com Inc.’s e-commerce dog, with no signs the tail-wagging will slow down anytime soon.The Seattle-based retail and cloud behemoth today reported fourth-quarter earnings that easily beat expectations thanks in part to its highly profitable Amazon Web Services Inc. cloud unit. But the company provided first-quarter guidance that fell a bit short of analysts’ forecasts.Amazon earned a profit of $6.04 a share, up 61 percent from a year ago, on a 20 percent rise in sales, to $72.4 billion. Operating income shot up 81 percent, to $3.8 billion.Revenue from AWS jumped 45 percent, to $7.4 billion, and the unit’s operating income rocketed 61 percent, to $2.18 billion.