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Amazon.com Inc. Reports Operating Results (10-K)
Posted by: gurufocus (IP Logged)
Date: February 1, 2012 07:52AM
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) filed Annual Report for the period ended 2011-12-31.
Highlight of Business Operations:We generally have payment terms with our vendors that extend beyond the amount of time necessary to collect proceeds from our customers. As a result of holiday sales, at December 31 of each year, our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances typically reach their highest level (other than as a result of cash flows provided by or used in investing and financing activities). This operating cycle results in a corresponding increase in accounts payable at December 31. Our accounts payable balance generally declines during the first three months of the year, resulting in a corresponding decline in our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances.
Our financial focus is on long-term, sustainable growth in free cash flow. Free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $2.09 billion for 2011, compared to $2.52 billion and $2.92 billion for 2010 and 2009. See Results of OperationsNon-GAAP Financial Measures below for a reconciliation of free cash flow to cash provided by operating activities. The decrease in free cash flow in 2011 was primarily due to increased capital expenditures and changes in working capital, partially offset by increases in sales of gift certificates to our customers, decreased tax benefits on excess stock-based compensation deductions, and increases in net income, excluding depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense. The decrease in free cash flow in 2010 was primarily due to increased capital expenditures, changes in working capital, and utilization of excess stock-based compensation deductions, partially offset by increases in net income, excluding depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense. Tax benefits relating to excess stock-based compensation deductions are presented in the statement of cash flows as financing cash inflows; accordingly, as such tax benefits decline, a greater amount of cash is classified as operating cash inflow. Operating cash flows and free cash flows can be volatile and are sensitive to many factors, including changes in working capital, the timing and magnitude of capital expenditures, and our federal taxable income. Working capital at any specific point in time is subject to many variables, including seasonality, inventory management and category expansion, the timing of cash receipts and payments, vendor payment terms, and fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.
The increase in cost of sales in absolute dollars in 2011, 2010, and 2009 compared to the comparable prior year periods is primarily due to increased product, digital content, including Prime Instant Video, and shipping costs resulting from increased sales.
The increase in fulfillment costs in absolute dollars in 2011, 2010, and 2009, compared to the comparable prior year periods, is primarily due to variable costs corresponding with physical and digital product and services sales volume, inventory levels, and sales mix; costs from expanding fulfillment capacity; and payment processing and related transaction costs.