Amazon has just released its Q1 earnings statement, and though sales were up 34 percent year-over to $13.18 billion, net income was down 35 percent to $130 million for its first fiscal 2012 quarter — yes, Amazon's margins are historically very low. North America sales alone amounted to $7.43 billion, up 36 percent from Q1 2011. That puts sales on the optimistic side of the company's Q1 prediction during its Q4 2011 earnings report, and profit better than expected — especially since it predicted a possible $200 million loss for this quarter.
The Kindle Fire remained Amazon's flagship product — #1 bestselling, most gifted, and most wished for across the entire site. In fact, a reported 9 out of 10 top sellers on Amazon.com were digital products — defined here as Kindle, Kindle books, movies, music and apps. As for concrete numbers of either the Fire or any of the Kindle products for that matter, the company remains characteristically mum — there's even a decided lack of poetic circumvention, as it has historically done when wanting to tout crazy Kindle statistics. Of its top 100 bestselling books, 16 are exclusive to its store, said CEO Jeff Bezos.
As far as financial guidance for Q2 — and remember, the company erred on the side of cautious last time — net sales are expected to grow between 20 and 34 percent, between $11.9 billion and $13.3 billion, compared with Q2 2011. Once again, Amazon is predicting somewhere between a $260 million loss and a relatively meager $40 million profit, which would be between 229% and 80% lower year-over-year.
Amazon's press conference starts at 2:00PM PT / 5:00PM ET; we'll let you know what interesting details come out of that. (Update: the Bezos-less call was all finance — even a valiant attempt to bring up the possibility of a "Kindle smartphone" fell on deaf ears and was aptly ignored. But hey, margins!)