Amazon hikes annual Prime membership fee by 20% to $119

"The value of Prime to customers has never been greater", Brian told investors.

Amazon is investing heavily in fulfillment centers, data centers and original programming, among other areas. Amazon disclosed last week that the median pay for its employees was just $28,446 in 2017, which means half of Amazon's employees earned less than that amount. It acquired Whole Foods Market for US$13.7 billion previous year to help it send groceries to shoppers' doorsteps.

The chipmaker posted revenue of $582.2 million in the period, also surpassing expectations of analysts, who had predicted revenue of $580.5 million. Amazon said net income rose to US$1.6 billion, or US$3.27 per share in the quarter ended March 31.

The average estimate of financial analysts, compiled by Thomson Reuters, was for revenue of $49.87 billion and earnings of $1.27 a share. Sales, including more than $4 billion contributed by Whole Foods Market stores that Amazon didn't own a year ago, surged 42 percent, to $51 billion.

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"The biggest standout for me is the profitability", said Ron Josey, analyst at JMP Securities.

The company says increased benefits to customers is the reason behind the increase. The retail giant said today that the price will go up to $120 per year, up from $100.

Additionally, Amazon announced plans to raise the price of Prime membership, during a conference call this week; the Wall Street Journal reported on the matter, noting that the price increase will be only the second in its 13-year history.

Amazon's stock increased 7 percent in after-hours trading Thursday following the release of the earnings report.

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The Redmond, Wash., company said revenue from its Azure cloud computing service grew 93 percent during the quarter, keeping up the momentum in that space for several quarters.

The increase could curtail Prime's signups or renewals, but Amazon may not be too concerned about that, Anderson said. Amazon net sales were $35.7 billion in the same quarter in 2017.

Its shares trade at a premium to many peers. The price increase reflects those subscribers in the United States but other markets have not been mentioned and we wouldnt not be surprised to see the increase trickle to other markets.

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