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Jeff Bezos Riding High As Amazon Posts a Profit (Which Is Rare!)

All hail the cloud.

by Nicholas Deleon
Jul 24 2015, 3:30pm

Photo: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr

Jeff Bezos is a very happy man this morning.

Amazon is up nearly 15 percent in early trading after having surprised Wall Street analysts by doing the unthinkable and posting a profit for the three months ended June 30. At $92 million, it wasn't a huge sum—the New York Times described it as a "rounding error" compared to the amount of money fellow tech giants like Apple and Google pull in—but suggests the company's days of relentless investment (remember the Fire Phone?) at the expense of actually making money may be slowing down.

The company is now worth around $258 billion, and has surpassed for the first time Walmart's own valuation of around $232 billion. If you're a Wall Street investor, that's a Very Big Deal.

What's responsible for the uptick? In a phrase, cloud computing. Amazon's AWS unit, which sells cloud computing resources, including storage, to other companies, saw revenues jump 81% to $1.82 billion. (Compare Amazon's success with the cloud to IBM's relative struggles.) Amazon also noted that it will likely hold more "Prime Day" pseudo-holidays in the future to continue attracting new Prime subscribers, who spend twice as much on the site as non-subscribers according to some estimates.