Amazon doubles deliveries in 2016 for third-party sellers

Wed Jan 4, 2017 2:12pm EST
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By Jeffrey Dastin

(Reuters) - Inc (AMZN.O: Quote) shipped 50 percent more items during the past holiday season than the prior year for third-party vendors and doubled the amount for 2016 overall, the world's largest online retailer said on Wednesday.

The data may offer hope to investors looking for Amazon to post a fourth-quarter profit when it announces results in the coming weeks.

Seattle-based Amazon, known for its roller-coaster results in years past, had forecast that operating income would range from zero to $1.25 billion in the fourth quarter. The company said spending on warehouses and video production would drag on profits.

Shares were up 0.6 percent at $758.48 in afternoon trading.

Amazon said the 2016 holiday was its best-ever shopping season. But this was expected, said analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research.

More sellers are paying the company to store, pack and ship goods through its fulfillment service. Amazon more than doubled the items it delivered for other sellers in 2016 from the year prior to exceed 2 billion, a spokesman said.

Active sellers using the fulfillment service rose more than 70 percent in the year, Amazon said. It did not specify the number of vendors or break down revenue.

Amazon takes a cut of third-party sales, which were "record-breaking" in 2016, Peter Faricy, vice president for Amazon Marketplace, said in a statement.   Continued...

Amazon boxes are seen stacked for delivery in the Manhattan borough of New York City, January 29, 2016.    REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo