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Amazon Continues to Impress Wall Street Thanks to Cloud and Prime

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Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Photograph by David Ryder — Getty Images

Amazon.com reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue, powered by blockbuster growth in its cloud services unit and an increase in subscriptions for its Prime loyalty program.

The world’s biggest online retailer’s shares were up 2% in after-hours trading on Thursday.

Amazon (AMZN) forecast current-quarter net sales of between $31.0 billion and $33.5 billion, factoring in sales from its Prime Day annual shopping festival.

The company’s net sales in North America, its biggest market, jumped 28.1% to $17.67 billion.

Revenue from its cloud services business, Amazon Web Services, surged 58.2% to $2.89 billion. This beat the average estimate of $2.83 billion, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

The unit, Amazon’s fastest growing business, is seen as the next driver of growth for the company.

The company’s net sales rose 31.1% to $30.40 billion in the second quarter ended June 30.

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Net income rose to $857 million, or $1.78 per share, from $92 million, or 19 cents per share, a year earlier.

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Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.11 per share and revenue of $29.55 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.