Amazon Pocketed $9 Billion During Holiday Shopping Season

Amazon increased its cash and investment holdings to $9 billion over the 2012 holiday shopping season, according to several industry analysts and investors. Those analysts speculate that Amazon earned its highest revenues to date in December.

According to The Guardian, Wall Street estimates placed Amazon revenues for the past quarter at $22 billion, a 59.3 percent jump from the $13.81 billion the online retailer earned in Q3 2012. The increase is also a 26 percent jump from Amazon’s Q4 2011.

Experts believe that Amazon’s cash reserves and savings now sit between $7 and $9 billion.

Morgan Stanley estimates that Amazon now holds $9 billion in savings with $6.8 billion in cash and the rest held in short-term investments. Brokers at Morningstar place Amazon’s reserves somewhere between $7 billion and $8 billion.

Amazon was expecting huge holiday sales when it took on an additional 50,000 seasonal workers, an increase over its 2011 hiring practices.

Near the end of December, Amazon announced that it had shipped more than 15.6 million products across all of its store categories.

Amazon isn’t only big in the United States. The UK is believed to have contributed $900 million to Amazon’s current cash pile, an amount equal to 10 percent of the company’s reserves.

With huge cash and savings holdings, some analysts warn that Amazon could come under further government scrutiny for its offshore tax havens, which have reduced Amazon’s tax payments.

Amazon has already come under fire in the UK where it has earned £7 billion from customers but paid only £2.3 million since its sales are routed through Luxembourg.