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Amazon Q2 2012: Kindle Fire best-seller device, net income down 96%

July 27, 2012

All the main companies in the tech business are posting their financial details for the second quarter of the year, ending on June 30, and after we looked at various players in the mobile business – including Google, Apple, AT&T or Samsung – we now have Amazon’s financial report for Q2 2012 to inspect.

As expected, the most important product for the company remains its own tablet, the Kindle Fire, a device that’s sold at cost, as the giant retailer tries to make money off the digital content purchased on the tablet by its owners.

But Amazon’s numbers weren’t necessarily good for a company that’s fairly interested in turning in a healthy profit each quarter. The company reported $12.83 billion in sales for the period, a 29% increase in sales, but net income dropped 96% compared to the year-ago quarter to $7 million.

Sure, that number was affected by a $65 million “of estimated net loss related to the acquisition and integration of Kiva Systems, Inc.” but also by a “$272 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter. But $7 million is still a very low number for such a retailer.

It is not clear how many Kindle Fire units the company sold in the second quarter of the year, but those numbers must have surely been affected by the launch of the new iPad, which made Apple discount the iPad 2 by $100, but also by the Nexus 7 rumors that hit the web during the time – the Jelly Bean tablet has only been unveiled in late June, and started selling on its announcement day at Google I/O.

What we’re mostly interested to see from Amazon is its new generation of Kindle Fire tablets, which may be announced and launched in the following months – the company is rumored to have quite a few models in stock soon, with the most recent report suggesting that Amazon will release six different Kindle Fire versions this year.