Amazon Jeff Bezos

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Has A Really Good Day: Earns $6 Billion In Just 20 Minutes As Stock Prices Climb

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had a pretty spectacular Thursday, pulling in $6 billion in just 20 minutes as the online retailer’s stock prices soared. During after-hours trading on Thursday evening, Amazon stock prices increased an astonishing 13 percent to $679 per share. The stock price jump came as Amazon experienced a record volume of sales, topping out at $17 billion in the first quarter alone.

Vanity Fair reports that Jeff Bezos increased his net worth by an astonishing $6 billion in just 20 minutes when after-hours trading sent Amazon stock prices climbing. The online retailer announced its most profitable quarter-to-date on Thursday afternoon, revealing that the company’s net sales topped $17 billion in the first quarter of 2016. The announcement of record-breaking sales exceeded the expectations of financial analysts and stock prices quickly reflected the company’s accomplishment. Amazon stock prices jumped almost 13 percent, with stock prices climbing to $679 per share.

Though the impressive first quarter was a huge victory for the online retail giant, no one felt the impact more than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The billionaire was able to add $6 billion to his already hefty $53.7 billion fortune bringing his net worth to over $60 billion. However, Jeff Bezos wasn’t the only billionaire to have an amazing Thursday evening. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earned $3.6 billion on Thursday as Facebook stocks also saw a big boost.

With Zuckerberg’s multi-billion dollar boost, his net worth increased to just over $54 billion. Though impressive, Zuckerberg now trails Bezos by roughly $6 billion. If you watch the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, you will notice that the business of being a billionaire is very volatile. In fact, Zuckerberg, Bezos, Carlos Slim, and the Koch brothers have been battling it out for the title of “fourth-richest person in the world” for quite some time. The five billionaires are constantly moving between the fourth through eight place standings as even slight stock price changes can have a huge impact on the billionaires’ net worth and rankings. With the latest stock price jumps for Amazon and Facebook, and a struggling oil industry, Zuckerberg will likely push ahead of the Koch brothers, while Bezos will claim the coveted fourth place position, ousting current holder Carlos Slim.

Analysts have attributed much of Amazon’s first quarter success to the Prime loyalty program. It was noted that the online retailer has seen significant growth in its loyalty program with users paying a $99 yearly fee for free delivery options, one-hour delivery service, original TV programming and access to its digital entertainment products such as Prime Music and Prime Video.

To tap into the Amazon Prime loyalty program even further, the company announced new monthly payment plans for customers not wanting to pay the yearly fee upfront. The new program allows customers to pay $10.99 per month for the same loyalty program benefits they enjoyed with the $99 yearly subscription. They also revealed an $8.99 monthly option for those who only wish to subscribe to Amazon video streaming services. The new monthly option is likely an attempt by the company to tap further into the Netflix market by providing consumers with more payment options.

The company has also seen increased success with Amazon devices such as the Fire tablets and Fire TV stick. In fact, the Fire TV Stick became the first product on the Amazon website to receive over 100,000 customer reviews, outperforming all other manufacturers who sell products on the site. Other Fire devices are expected to perform well as it was revealed that Fire tablet sales doubled in the first quarter compared to last year.

Bezos notes that Amazon is creating “premium products” for its customers but not charging premium prices. He says the model is working well and that the company will continue to expand its offerings.

“Echo too is off to an incredible start, and we can’t yet manage to keep it in stock despite all efforts. We’re building premium products at non-premium prices, and we’re thrilled so many customers are responding to our approach.”

[Photo by David Ryder/ AP Photo]

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