AMZN, MSFT Shares Explode To Upside In After-Hours: Amazon EPS Of $0.17 VS Expected Loss Of $0.13

Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) were up sharply in after-hours trading on strong financial results.

Thirty-five analysts followed by Thomson Financial Network, who publish Amazon earnings per share guidance, had a consensus of a $0.13 per AMZN share loss and revenues of $24.9 billion. In its third quarter 2015 financial results, released after the 4 p.m. market close today, Amazon reported EPS of $0.17 and revenues of $25.4 billion. The AMZN EPS beat demonstrates particularly strong execution on the part of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the rest of the online retailer’s management.

AMZN shares traded close to $55, or more than 9 percent, higher in heavy after-hours trading. After 2015 second quarter Amazon results, AMZN shares behaved in a very similar fashion, trading up in after-hours trading to new all-time price highs, as reported by the Inquisitr. Amazon shares are up over 90 percent in 2015 with this evening’s price action.

AMZN, MSFT stock surged after-hours.

The big Microsoft beat caused MSFT shares to spike close to $4 and over 7 percent in the after-hours market. The MSFT share markup represents a move into a range not seen by MSFT since the height of the dot-com bubble, in late 1999 and early 2000, over 15 years ago. Shares of Microsoft are up more than ten percent this year with this evening’s move.

Amazon noted that active customers on its website grew by 240 percent from 2014 levels.

Amazon management gave guidance for fourth quarter gross sales ranging from $33.5 billion and $36.8 billion. Analysts’ current consensus for the fourth quarter is $35.2 billion. Amazon provided a huge range for operating income of $80 million to $1.3 billion, something that the market for AMZN shares certainly doesn’t seem to have a problem with.

Microsoft management noted that during the third quarter, the company had raised its annual dividend by 16 percent and “returned $6.9 billion to shareholders” in stock buybacks and dividends combined.

AMZN shares rallied close to 10 percent after-hours.

MSFT EPS estimates are calling for growth of 1.4 percent for the second quarter of 2016, and 9.3 percent for the full 2016-year. Microsoft ends its fiscal year in June. MSFT EPS growth of 14.5 percent is forecast in 2016, and average annual EPS growth of 8.0 percent is the consensus for the next five years.

Amazon has been fairly heavily levered. Going into this evening’s report Amazon had $14.0 billion in cash and $17.9 billion debt. Amazon’s debt to equity was reported to be 152.6 percent.

With the financial results, Amazon discussed four new tablets it has brought to market. Amazon is stating that the Fire tablet has the “best display on any tablet under $50.” Amazon is offering “six-packs” of tablets that lower the price of the Fire even further.

“For the first time, we’re recommending you bring home a six-pack for the whole family,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was quoted in the Amazon financial results. The online retailer will also be offering three new “Fire TV devices, all with with Alexa integration.”

Microsoft last reported that it held $94.5 billion in cash and $35.4 billion in debt. Microsoft carried a debt to equity ratio of 44.2 percent through the first quarter of the 2016 fiscal year. Microsoft also reported an operating margin of 30.1 percent, a profit margin of 13.0 percent, and a return on equity of 14.8 percent.

Major institutional holders of both AMZN and MSFT shares include FMR, LLC; The Vanguard Group, Inc.; State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT); BlackRock Institutional Trust Company (NYSE: BLK); and JP Morgan Chase & Company (NYSE: JPM).

[Featured Photo Illustration by Matt Cardy / Getty Images]