Amazon Somehow Lost $39m Selling $61b Worth Of Stuff Last Year

The good news if you're Amazon? You just sold $US61.09 billion worth of stuff in 2012. That's roughly the GDP of Croatia! The funny new for everyone else news? You somehow lost $US39 million doing it. Business!

While Amazon did turn a $US97 million profit this most recent quarter, the most striking figures from today's earnings report come from the full-year tally above. And while the Good Ship Bezos dropped some major change bringing aboard robot company Kiva and snapping up Instant Video licensing agreements like candy canes at Christmas, that still doesn't quite account for the order-of-magnitude gap between what it sold and what it earned.

What hurts the bottom line? All of its US-only offerings. Its bestseller, the Kindle Fire HD, is a loss leader. Amazon Prime can't help. And catching up to Netflix content offerings is a killer. Most of all, Amazon's prime directive is still to get people under its tent, using its products, relying on its ecosystem. In other words: everything that makes Amazon one of the smartest, most patient companies in tech also gives Amazon one of the silliest balance sheets.

The company is having a conference call today to discuss the earnings; we'll be listening in and will update as warranted. In the meantime, rest assured that every time you think a Gold Box deal is too good to be true, it very likely is. [Amazon]

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