(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) march in retail and cloud computing showed no sign of slowing on Thursday, as the company reported a surge in first-quarter profit and a rosy outlook for the spring, surprising all but the most optimistic on Wall Street.
The world’s largest online retailer also announced it was increasing the price of an annual U.S. Prime membership to $119 from $99 starting May 11 for new members and June 16 for renewing members.
In addition, Amazon and the U.S. National Football League announced a deal to stream Thursday night games during the 2018 and 2019 seasons on Amazon’s Prime Video.
Amazon’s shares rose 6 percent in after-hours trade.
Seattle-based Amazon is winning business from older, big box rivals by delivering virtually any product to customers at a low cost, and at times faster than it takes to buy goods from a physical store. It acquired Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion last year to help it send groceries to shoppers’ doorsteps.
Amazon’s results bucked expectations that it would plow more profit into investments, as it has done in the past. Amazon said net income rose to $1.6 billion, or $3.27 per share in the quarter ended March 31. Analysts on average were expecting $1.26 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 43 percent to $51.0 billion in the quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of $49.8 billion.
The fast ascent of Amazon and its Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, now the richest person in the world, has drawn the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump. Writing critical Twitter posts about Amazon and the Washington Post, which Bezos privately owns, Trump has claimed without evidence that Amazon has not paid enough money to the U.S. Postal Service to