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Amazon, Google Post Big Q4 Beats; Chipotle Misses

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Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) has reported two powerful news items this afternoon following Tuesday’s closing bell. The first is its Q4 earnings report, which doubled expectations on its bottom line: $14.09 per share zoomed past the $7.05 per share expected, and well beyond the $6.47 per share posted in the year-ago quarter. Revenues of $125.56 billion was also a marked improvement on the $120.36 billion estimated. This marks Amazon’s third-straight earnings beat; three of the previous four quarters were misses.

Also, CEO Jeff Bezos has found a replacement at the helm of Amazon: Andy Jassy, who had started up Amazon Web Services (AWS) and has run the money-making enterprise of the corporation since 2003. Bezos will be making himself Executive Chairman as of Q3 2021. Jassy has been an Amazon employee for 25 years, and is widely regarded as the main reason Amazon was able to step out to a seven-year lead in the cloud space among tech giants.

AWS came in a tad light of expectations in Q4, however — $12.8 billion versus the $12.7 billion estimate. Both North America and International revenues came in stronger than expected, however, and the company upped revenue guidance for Q1 to a range of $100-106 billion. The Zacks consensus for the #3-ranked (Hold) stock ahead of the earnings release was for $95.71 billion. Shares have bounced around since the announcement; whether Bezos taking himself out of the day-to-day decision-making may be weighing on the stock in late trading.

Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) also put up big numbers in its Q4 earnings report after the closing bell, with earnings of $22.30 per share easily surpassing the $15.91 in the Zacks consensus. Revenues — minus traffic acquisition costs (TAC), which the company does not report in its headline sales figure — reached $46.43 billion in the quarter, higher than the $44.1 billion our analysts were expecting. A strong quarter from Search and YouTube helped propel the company, and Cloud revenues grew 47% year over year, to $3.8 billion.

Chipotle (CMG - Free Report) has put up its second earnings miss in the past three quarters, however, with earnings of $3.48 per share missing the Zacks consensus of $3.70. Revenues were exactly in-line with estimates, to $1.61 billion. Q4 comps were in-line with expectations, +5.7%. Shares are down 4% following the earnings release. Prior to the two negative earnings surprises in the past three quarters, Chipotle had not disappointed on its bottom line since Q3 2017.

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