Amazon just announced its Q3 2014 earnings, showing the largest operating loss in company history of $544 million for the quarter. That's dramatically higher than the $25 million operating loss of Q3 2013, despite the fact that net sales were up 20 percent to $20.58 billion this quarter. Operating cash flow was also up for the quarter at $5.71 billion, but that still is in the shadow of such a large loss. Amazon's Q4 guidance warns of another (though expected) loss in Q4 to the tune of $570 million. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had this to say:
"As we get ready for this upcoming holiday season, we are focused on making the customer experience easier and more stress-free than ever. In addition to our already low prices, we will offer more than 15,000 Lightning Deals with early access to select deals for Prime members, hundreds of millions of products across dozens of categories, curated gift lists like Holiday Toy List and Electronics Holiday Gift Guide, new features like #AmazonWishList, and a great new lineup of products like Kindle Voyage and Fire HD Kids Edition. And if you order your gifts on AmazonSmile, we'll donate a percentage of your purchase price to your favorite charity."
As is usually the case Amazon isn't talking specifics about sales of its Kindle Fire tablets — which expanded with new models this quarter — but it did say that the Fire TV is the "best-selling streaming box on Amazon" in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. Sadly on the Fire Phone front, Amazon did say in a conference call following its earnings that it is taking a $170 million write-down related to unsold inventory and supplier commitments. That comes as a shock to few, but it still hurts to see the numbers come out officially.