Bill Gates reclaims richest man glory
Jeff Bezos, the owner of online retail giant Amazon.com, briefly held the top spot as the world’s richest person earlier on Thursday when his personal wealth surpassed $91 billion.
Bezos briefly beat out Bill Gates, the 61-year-old co-founder of Microsoft Corp, who has held the top spot since May 2013, with $90 billion.
But Bezos quickly slipped to second best when Amazon reported its second quarter earnings showing a profit of $197 million on strong sales of $38 billion.
The dip in profit is a 77 per cent drop from $857 million this time last year, and it’s mainly due to Amazon’s aggressive investments in its own business.
Around 9.30am on Thursday, shares of Amazon.com jumped 1.8 per cent to $1,071.31 in New York, pushing Bezos’ personal wealth to over $91 billion.
Bloomberg noted that if shares of Amazon.com maintained to the end of trading at 4.00pm, Bezos, 53, would surpass Gates on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
And Bezos did, but only for a short time.
But the time of market close on Thursday, Bezos was already back in second place with $88.5 billion, but stronger earnings would have brought him back to the top by Friday, according The Verge.
Amazon was projected to post a 22 per cent jump in its quarterly revenue, rising to an estimated $37.2 billion based on the average assessment of 34 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, with earnings per share of $1.42.
Amazon’s diverse portfolio, which includes apparel and groceries, is helping boost its market projections, but investors are keeping an eye out for an increase in the company’s subscription-based services.
The internet retailer sells a $99 -a-year Amazon Prime service, which offers delivery discounts and video and music streaming.
Michael Pachter, a Wedbush Securities Inc analyst, told Bloomberg that ‘Anyone who joins Prime… shops in retail stores 10 per cent less, and that number will keep accelerating as Amazon adds more inventory.’
‘Amazon Prime is the reason why so much physical retail is going away,’ Pachter added, referring to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.
And it’s Amazon’s model of shifting the buying of good and services from the outside world to inside the home that is leading the company’s success.
Amazon’s cloud-computing division, Amazon Web Service, is also contributing to the overall health of the company, which is seeing profits and accounts for 10 per cent of the company’s overall revenue.
According to Bloomberg, Bezos owns 17 per cent of Amazon, which has seen a 40 per cent increase in revenues this year.
The increase has led to an additional $24.5 billion for his personal net worth, surging him to the top of the billionaires list from his starting position of fourth where he began this year.
Inditex SA founder, Amancio Ortega now ranks third with $82.7 billion, and Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s Warren Buffet sits at the No 4 with $74.5 billion.
Bezos started Amazon.com in Seattle, Washington on July 5, 1994.
Source: Daily Mail