that would not show up in net income other than depreciation expense
Huh? So, to translate, it wouldn’t show up in net income except when it does? The majority of their depreciation is short term (from their 10K: two years for internal software, three years for servers, five years for networking gear). An investment policy only needs to run flat for a few years and depreciation matches asset acq cash.
Maybe you’re thinking of huge one-time purchases (buy a factory and run it for 30 years) but that’s not now Amazon works. Not all investment involves tangible goods, and not all intangibles are captured on the balance sheet. They’re continuing to build their brand, develop business processes, technologies, and patents, and expand into new LOBs (e.g. AWS). Most of these are intangibles and not on the b/s.