For years, one of the big knocks against Amazon was its inability or unwillingness to deliver consistent profits. E-commerce is a fickle and seasonal business, and Amazon has often plowed a lot of its income back into infrastructure and new initiatives.
But the last few quarters, that’s started to change, in large part thanks to Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud business. This chart from Statista shows operating profit of AWS versus Amazon’s total operating profit, not including stock-based compensation and operating expenses that are not allocated to any single segment. (We had to make those exceptions for the sake of the chart because that’s how Amazon used to report AWS numbers.) It’s clear that AWS is a lot more predictable than the rest of Amazon’s business — operating profit has risen at a fairly consistent rate ever since Q2 2014.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.