Amazon Just Became Bigger Than Walmart: Here's Why

MThe moment everyone has been waiting for has finally arrived, by which of course, we mean the moment when the market cap of AMZN would finally surpass Wal-mart.

Just after 4pm Jeff Bezos' Amazon reported number that were quite impressive at first blush. And at second blush as well. Among these: a whopping blow out beat on the topline of $23.2 billion in revenue, an increase of 27% from a year ago, and far above the $22.4 billion expected, which in turn resulted in Net income of $92 million, or EPS of $0.19. The street was expecting a loss of $0.14 per share.

In terms of where the bulk of the growth and profitability came from, one word, or rather three letters: AWS (Amazon Web Services), also known as the "cloud", whose net sales soared by 81% Y/Y to $1.8 billion generating a 21.4% operating margin and net income of $391 million up from $77 million a year ago.

And while the quarter was good especially for AMZN the "web services" company, it was AMZN's forecast for the future that was even more impressive: 

The company now expects net sales to be between $23.3 billion and $25.5 billion, or to grow between 13% and 24% compared with third quarter 2014.  It also expects operating income (loss) is expected to be between $(480) million and $70 million, compared to $(544) million in third quarter 2014, although if the current quarter is any indicatiton this is some rather serious sandbagging.

But words aside: here, in three charts is what happened, with the company that now employs a record 183,000 people:

Worldwide net sales vs total Employees:

 

Q2 operating and net income in context. Clearly the quarter was an outlier - the only question is why and how?

 

And finally LTM Free Cash Flow. It appears Bezos does indeed have quite a bit FCF leverage if and when he wants it.

 

Again our question: why convert AMZN from a growth to a free cash flow model now: the last time the company tried this it ended up being quite disappointed.

For now, however, the algos love it, the shorts hate it and are scrambling to cover, and the result is an AMZN whose market cap has just jumped by over $40 billion to a record $268 billion.

And, yes, It is now far bigger than Walmart.