Financial Reports: Amazon, Brookstone, Overstock.com

Apr 26, 2007 12:16 AM  By

Amazon.com’s 1Q Sales Top $3 Billion

First-quarter net sales at Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) topped $3 billion. The Seattle-based online behemoth’s $3.02 billion in sales for the three-month period ended March 31 represented a 32% increase over $2.28 billion for the same period last year. Net income for the quarter jumped 115%, to $111 million, up from $51 million last year.

First-quarter North America sales rose 30%, to $1.62 billion. Worldwide sales of electronics and other general merchandise grew 48%, to $947 million, and increased to 31% of worldwide net sales, compared with 28% for the same period last year.

The results reflect the growth of Amazon Prime, Amazon.com’s first-ever membership program introduced in February 2005. For a flat membership fee of $79 per year, Amazon Prime members receive unlimited, express two-day shipping for free, with no minimum purchase requirement on over a million eligible items sold by Amazon.com.

“We’re pleased with our overall strong growth and especially with the number of people joining Amazon Prime,” Amazon.com founder/CEO Jeff Bezos said in a release. “Prime continues to grow as a percentage of overall units shipped, and we’re very grateful to our Amazon Prime members.”

Brookstone Sales Up 8.4%; Still Posts Net Loss

First-quarter net sales for Merrimack, NH-based gifts and gadgets cataloger/retailer Brookstone (Nasdaq: BKST), which mails the Hard-to-Find Tools, Gardener’s Eden, and Brookstone catalogs, increased 8.4% to $83.1 million, That’s up from $76.7 million for the same period last year. For the three-month period ended March 31, same-store sales rose 9.2%. Company officials did not break out any direct sales results.

Although Brookstone took a hit with a net loss of $11.1 million, that’s a slight improvement over its net loss of $11.2 million for the same quarter in 2006. CEO Lou Mancini commented on the first-quarter financials: “We are pleased with our first quarter 2007 results and our continuing trend of same-store sales increases,” he said in a release. “Our improved results are due to the introduction of new and innovative products as well as our continued execution of our sales incentive strategy.”

Underwhelming First Quarter for Overstock.com

First-quarter sales at Salt Lake City-based Overstock.com slid 11%, to $157.9 million, for the three-month period ended March 31. Sales in the first quarter of 2006 were $178 million. Direct sales sunk 74% to $45.7 million, down from $79.7 million for the same quarter in 2006. The online closeouts merchant saw its net loss increase 35%, to $21.4 million; it had posted a $15.9 million net loss for the quarter last year. The net loss this year includes $6.1 million of restructuring charges and $3.6 million loss from discontinued operations. The 2006 net loss did not have any restructuring charges, but included $0.8 million from discontinued operations.

Nonetheless, CEO Patrick Byrne remained upbeat in a company release: “Our business is dramatically improving. Gross and contribution margins are expanding, and contribution dollars are up sharply. G&A expenses are contracting. That said, the corporate relocation to the warehouse remains uncertain: if we go forward with it, we will incur additional restructuring charges.”