Despite strong sales of electronics and a generally robust holiday shopping season, Amazon may miss Q4 revenue targets.
report from financial services firm Goldman Sachs warns that online retailer
Amazon.com could miss its fourth-quarter sales estimates due to a slowdown in
online shopping growth, despite impressive sales of the company's Kindle Fire
tablet and family of e-readers.
Sachs analyst Heather Bellini said in a research note that based on sales
estimates from IT analytics firm comScore, total e-commerce sales rose 15
percent to $35.3 billion in the November-December holiday shopping season and
Amazon's revenue will rise to $17.9 billion-a 38 percent rise compared with
2010 but still under the $18.2 billion expected by analysts.
the holiday season to date, comScore said $35.3 billion has been spent online,
marking a 15 percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most
recent week (ending Dec. 25) witnessed $2.8 billion in spending, an increase of
16 percent versus the corresponding week last year.
the comScore numbers are just one data point, which does not capture
international sales or breakout individual companies' sales, taken alone they
seem to suggest the potential for downside risk," Bellini wrote in the report, a copy of which was
obtained by Bloomberg News.
of the interesting e-commerce phenomena occurring over the past several years
is the dramatic increase in Christmas Day purchases of digital content and
subscriptions, a retail category that includes digital downloads of music, TV,
movies, ebooks and apps. The comScore report noted that many consumers get new
smartphones, tablets, e-readers and digital content gift certificates for
Christmas, and they spend Christmas Day loading up their devices with new
an average day during the 2011 holiday season to date (Nov. 1-Dec. 26), digital
content and subscriptions accounted for 2.8 percent of retail e-commerce sales,
but on Christmas Day the category accounted for more than 20 percent of sales.
Consistent with past years, comScore said it expects sales for this category of
products to remain elevated throughout the entire week following Christmas Day.
e-commerce spending has remained strong throughout the season, and we have now
reached a record $35 billion in U.S. online sales for the season-to-date," said
comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. "We can now say with certainty that the $1.25
billion spent on Cyber Monday will rank it as the heaviest online spending day
of the season for the second consecutive year, but we should also note that it
was accompanied by nine other billion dollar spending days this year."