CEO Jeff Bezos Becomes World’s Richest Person as of Friday morning when stock soars on Q3 earnings
Todd Spangler, Reuters
LOS ANGELES – Jeff Bezos has again claimed the No. 1 spot on the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals, after Amazon investors pushed the stock up more than 11% on Thursday’s strong third-quarter earnings report.
Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, had a net worth as of Friday morning of $91.6 billion, according to Forbes’ real-time ranking of the world’s billionaires, surpassing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth stands at around $90 billion. Bezos’ fortune increased nearly $9 billion overnight, as Amazon stock was up more than 11% in Friday trading.
On July 27, Bezos had become the world’s richest person for a few hours that morning, but Amazon shares declined in afternoon trading, putting Bezos back at No. 2 behind Gates.
For Q3, Amazon posted sales of $43.7 billion, up 34% year-over-year, with net income of $256 million (52 cents per share). That was a robust beat of Wall Street analyst forecasts of $41.6 billion in revenue and earnings per share of 7 cents.
Amazon has tremendous power in the e-commerce sector: It’s projected to account for 44% of every e-commerce dollar spent in the U.S., up from 38% last year, according to a recent estimate by research firm eMarketer. Amazon has bulldozed into the grocery space, closing its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market on Aug. 28. In the most recent quarter, Whole Foods contributed $1.3 billion in revenue to Amazon’s top line.
In addition, Amazon is expected to hit $1.65 billion in U.S. ad revenue in 2017, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast, which would make it the fifth-largest digital-ad platform revenue in the States.
Bezos, 53, founded Amazon.com as an online bookstore in 1994. In 2013, Bezos bought The Washington Post in a $250 million deal. He’s also the founder of space-aeronautics company Blue Origin and has invested in more than three dozen companies through Bezos Expeditions.