Amazon raising the price of Prime memberships by $20

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Amazon is raising the price of Amazon Prime from $99 to $119 per year. Meanwhile, the higher price will start applying to renewals for existing memberships on June 16.

In a report on its financial results for the first quarter ending on March 31, 2018, Amazon said its net sales increased 43 percent to 51.4 billion US dollars for the Q1 period, compared with 35.7 billion dollars in the same period of past year. Amazon has not raised the Prime service fee in 2014 from $79 a year to $99.

This year's Amazon shares are now up about 30 percent.

Internet giant Amazon last night said its quarterly profit more than doubled on soaring revenue from online commerce and cloud services.

"It is important to us that they all are still delighting customers and growing to the best of their ability", Brian Olsavsky, CFO of Amazon said in a conference call after announcing the results.

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Analysts had anticipated a profit of $1.25 a share, and revenue of $49.9 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

We'll find out if that winning streak will continue when Amazon reports its first quarter earnings after the bell.

Sales rose 43 per cent to US$51.0 billion in the quarter, beating analysts' average estimate of US$49.8 billion. He said the number of items Prime members can get within two days had grown fivefold since the last price increase four years ago. As reported earlier, for the full year of 2017, Amazon's losses for worldwide business had hit about $3 billion as it aggressively spent in the India market fighting rivals like Flipkart. Its more than 100 million members globally spend above average on Amazon. The company's physical stores business, most of which is from Whole Foods, added $4.26 billion in revenue for the quarter. Analysts estimated operating income of $1.13 billion of operating income and sales of $52.3 billion.

Earlier this year, Amazon announced a partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Berkshire Hathaway Inc to determine how to cut health costs for hundreds of thousands of their employees. "It's really nothing more than looking at the state of the program and the high benefits it is delivering", he said on Thursday.

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