Company profile: Amazon

Find out how the online book store became the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace

Amazon is currently the world’s third-largest company in terms of share value, behind Microsoft and Apple. In 2020 it reported net sales of $386bn.

Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos from his garage in Bellevue, Washington, US in July 1994. Originally named Cadabra, it sold books online. 

Jeff Bezos in New York, May 2019

The company was renamed Amazon in 1995 and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1997. Amazon is located in Seattle, on the US west coast.

By 1998 the company had expanded into selling electronics, games, software, furniture, toys and groceries.

Amazon profile

It has also launched the Amazon Kindle range of ereaders, the Alexa voice assistant, and its cloud computing division Amazon Web Services. Amazon is also the owner of US supermarket chain Whole Foods Market.

AMZN price history

Date Close Change Change(%) Open High Low
Oct 22, 2021 3331.85 -74.43 -2.19% 3406.28 3432.28 3327.36
Oct 21, 2021 3417.29 16.08 0.47% 3401.21 3437.20 3397.29
Oct 20, 2021 3405.29 7.12 0.21% 3398.17 3457.72 3397.40
Oct 19, 2021 3444.26 2.00 0.06% 3442.26 3452.26 3418.75
Oct 18, 2021 3441.76 55.46 1.64% 3386.30 3446.23 3377.31
Oct 15, 2021 3406.79 104.43 3.16% 3302.36 3408.26 3297.23
Oct 14, 2021 3300.48 3.68 0.11% 3296.80 3310.37 3287.61
Oct 13, 2021 3287.39 37.99 1.17% 3249.40 3288.49 3247.41
Oct 12, 2021 3237.42 10.48 0.32% 3226.94 3264.64 3226.93
Oct 11, 2021 3237.43 -29.97 -0.92% 3267.40 3289.79 3233.43
Oct 8, 2021 3285.89 -4.89 -0.15% 3290.78 3319.60 3278.51
Oct 7, 2021 3301.38 16.54 0.50% 3284.84 3322.96 3280.45
Oct 6, 2021 3267.42 91.95 2.90% 3175.47 3278.60 3171.87
Oct 5, 2021 3213.44 26.86 0.84% 3186.58 3257.97 3184.30
Oct 4, 2021 3189.26 -58.15 -1.79% 3247.41 3278.89 3173.58
Oct 1, 2021 3279.38 24.90 0.77% 3254.48 3305.11 3246.41
Sep 30, 2021 3286.04 -35.32 -1.06% 3321.36 3324.79 3271.00
Sep 29, 2021 3306.37 -28.98 -0.87% 3335.35 3348.64 3294.38
Sep 28, 2021 3317.36 -29.97 -0.90% 3347.33 3366.75 3287.49
Sep 27, 2021 3394.80 -29.48 -0.86% 3424.28 3424.28 3336.35

A person who bought $100 in Amazon shares in 1997 IPO, as of 16 November 2020, would own stocks worth about $160,000

What does Amazon do?

As well as selling goods online Amazon owns Amazon Prime, a subscription service that provides unlimited, free one-day or same-day delivery to members. 

This is accompanied by Prime Video, an online streaming rival to Netflix, and Prime Day, an annual sales promotion that has been compared to Black Friday in the US.

How big is Amazon?

In 2015, Amazon overtook Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the US by market capitalisation.

In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for US$13.7 bn and in 2018, its two-day delivery service, Amazon Prime, surpassed 100 million subscribers worldwide.

Amazon is the largest Internet company by revenue in the world. It is the second largest private employer in the United States and one of the world's most valuable companies. 

Who owns Amazon?

Jeff Bezos who founded Amazon is one of the richest men in the world. His personal wealth is estimated at $182bn. He is set to step down as CEO and become executive chairman of Amazon in late 2021. 

Where is Amazon located?

Amazon is based in Seattle, Washington, US.

Facts about Amazon

 

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