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Friday, 28 July 2017

Amazon's Jeff Bezos had taken over from Bill Gates as the Worlds Richest Person



Bezos surpasses Gates as world’s richest ahead of Amazon results

Bezos owns about 17% of Seattle-based Amazon, which has surged 40% this year through Wednesday, helping to add US$24.5bil (RM104.8bil) to his net worth. - AFP pic
Bezos owns about 17% of Seattle-based Amazon, which has surged 40% this year through Wednesday, helping to add US$24.5bil (RM104.8bil) to his net worth. - AFP pic

NEW YORK: A surge in Amazon.com Inc shares Thursday morning in advance of the online retailer’s earnings report has propelled founder Jeff Bezos past Bill Gates as the world’s richest person.

Shares of the online retailer rose 1.8% to US$1,071.31 as of 9:30am in New York. If the gains hold through the close, Bezos, 53, could leapfrog Gates on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The 61-year-old Microsoft Corp co-founder has held the top spot since May 2013.

Investors and analysts, in addition to watching Amazon’s progress in taking market share in categories such as apparel and groceries, will be scrutinising how many new subscriptions the retailer sold for its US$99-a-year Amazon Prime service, which offers delivery discounts and video and music streaming. Prime shoppers spend more than customers who don’t have a membership.

“Amazon Prime is why so much physical retail is going away,” said Michael Pachter, a Wedbush Securities Inc analyst who has a buy rating on the stock and a price target of US$1,250.

“Anyone who joins Prime shops in retail stores 10% less, and that number will keep accelerating as Amazon adds more inventory.”

Investors also monitor Amazon’s cloud-computing division, Amazon Web Services, a fast-growing and profitable business that accounts for about 10% of revenue. Amazon leads the cloud-computing industry, but faces increasing competition from Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet Inc.

Amazon is expected to post quarterly revenue of US$37.2bil (RM159.1bil), a 22% jump from a year earlier, according to the average estimate of 34 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, and earnings per share of US$1.42.

Bezos owns about 17% of Seattle-based Amazon, which has surged 40% this year through Wednesday, helping to add US$24.5bil (RM104.8bil) to his net worth.

He started 2017 as the world’s fourth-wealthiest person and has since leapfrogged Inditex SA founder Amancio Ortega, who ranks third with US$82.7bil (RM353.8bil), and Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s Warren Buffett, No. 4, at US$74.5bil (RM318.7bil). - Bloomberg

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