Amazon reports big jump in first-quarter sales as vaccine rollouts

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Amazon.com Inc. reported a big increase in the economy and gave a highly bullish forecast, continuing a streak of rapid growth even as the vaccine rollouts raised the prospect of a return to pre-pandemic shopping habits in the U.S.

First-quarter revenue rose 44% to $108.5 billion, exceeding analysts' estimates.Earnings were $15.79 a share, also better than Wall Street expected.

The company said in a statement that sales between $110 billion and $116 billion in the month ended in June, the Seattle-based company said Thursday.According to Bloomberg data compiled by analysts, per week, average sales at $108.4 billion were expected to be compiled.

Amazon has been among the biggest beneficiaries of the coronavirus pandemic as crowd-affected shoppers rushed online.But with the vaccine rollout currently afoot in the largest U.S. market, investors have been scrutinizing data for signs that consumers will start spending more money at physical stores, eating out and traveling.

In extended trading, the shares increased about 3%.The stock has increased in the last 12 months to about 45%.

Amazon, earlier this month, defeated a syndicated drive to organize a fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, but the unfair tussle amplified the perception that it is treating the hourly workers unfairly.Andy Jassy, who will become executive chairman later this year and hand over the reins to AWS chief Bezos, alluded in his last letter to shareholders as CEO to union battle.After Amazon won the 2 -- 1 game, he promised to treat workers better in the future.

On Wednesday, the company said it would spend $1 billion to increase hourly wages by between 50 cents and $3 for more than 500,000 immigrants.Amazon currently offers a minimum wage of $15 an hour or more than twice the federal wage.

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