Amazon.com Earnings Call Insights: New Fulfillment Centers and International Segment

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) recently reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

New Fulfillment Centers

Brian Pitz – Jefferies & Co.: In February, you changed your FPA fulfillment fees, any comments on how this affected third party sales and what was the overall merchant response? And then just quickly, any update on your latest plans for new fulfillment centers in 2013?

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Thomas J. Szkutak – SVP and CFO: In terms of – I’ll take the second part of the question first. In terms of new fulfillment centers, we’ve announced three in the U.S. right now and then a few outside of U.S. consistent with prior years. It’s early. We really like the growth that we’re experiencing. We’ll be adding more of these through the course of the year, but stay tuned and we’ll update you as we go. In terms of FPA, there is not a lot I can talk to there. We’re very pleased with the FPA business. We think it’s great for sellers and great for customers, and we’re pleased to offer that service.

International Segment

Scott Devitt – Morgan Stanley: Tom the International segment sales growth of 21% continues to show modest deceleration and I think with the exception of 4Q it’s been trailing U.S. growth and understand that AWS is mostly booked in the U.S. so that’s a piece of the delta. But you’ve talked in the past quarters about the investments in International driving margin to at least breakeven levels in International I was wondering if you could just talk through the deceleration and the revenue growth in those markets and whether that’s comp related Europe, macro or otherwise. Then secondly in the shipping cost on a net basis is again leveraging I think that’s a second consecutive quarter. I just wonder if you could refresh us in terms of when the accounting change occurred in terms of the shipping revenue calculation for FBA to just understand if that’s an organic number now. Thank you.

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Thomas J. Szkutak – SVP and CFO: The second half of the question. There is — it is organic so there’s no, it’s consistent year-over-year. So this is the first quarter it’ll be consistent year-over-year. In terms of your question on International, we’re seeing still very solid growth of 21% on a local currency basis. As you’ve read certainly there is some softness from a macro standpoint that others are seeing hard to know whether that’s impacting us and how much we are not a bellwether for the economy. But we are very pleased with the growth that we are seeing again 21% on a local currency basis. Unit growth was actually growing substantially faster than that. So again that’s what we are seeing. In terms of investing you are absolutely right we’re investing in a number of geographies, including certainly in China. We’ve been investing for several years. We’ll continue to invest there. We think it’s a great long-term opportunity, but we are in investment mode and certainly some of the more recent additions that we’ve had with Italy and Spain are certainly in investment mode as well.

A Closer Look: Amazon.com Earnings Cheat Sheet>>