Amazon shares soared to an all-time high as the internet giant reported stellar sales of $51billion (£36.6billion) for the first three months of the year.
Its bumper revenues beat even the most optimistic of analysts’ expectations, who forecast sales in the region of £35.8billion.
The results sent Amazon’s shares flying by more than 7pc to a record $1,625 after the US market closed, adding more than £38billion to its value.
The surge in the share price reopens the race to become the world’s first trillion dollar company, with Apple leading the way and Microsoft and Amazon vying for second place.
Amazon’s bumper revenues beat even the most optimistic of analysts’ expectations, who forecast sales in the region of £35.8bn
Its North America revenue shot 46 per cent to £21.5billion, while its international revenue was up 34 per cent to £10.6billion.
The firm’s sales were driven largely by its fast-growing and lucrative cloud computing arm, AWS, which generated more than £3.9billion of revenue in the first quarter – a 49 per cent year-on-year increase.
Amazon’s bricks and mortar division, which includes clean-living supermarket chain Whole foods, clocked up sales of more than £3billion.
Its speedy delivery service, Prime, which last week Amazon founder Jeff Bezos boasted has notched up more than 100m members paying an annual subscription, brought in over £2.2billion of revenue in the first three months of the year.
The Amazon results marked a stunning turnaround for the tech giants of Silicon Valley, following on from Facebook’s startling rise in advertising revenue on Wednesday evening.
Last night, Intel, another of America’s giant chip makers, beat its earnings expectations and its shares rose 8 per cent.
On Thursday, travel website Expedia boasted of a 15 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue to £1.8billion. Meanwhile, Bezos has vowed to ‘double down’ on investment in its Echo speaker featuring the voice assistant Alexa.
In the past year, Amazon has unveiled plans to expand into even more areas of business, such as healthcare, advertising and logistics.
However, the AWS unit, which allows customers to store millions of gigabytes of data on giant servers, has become a world leader.
Privately, the company believes it could become a giant enterprise in its own right.
In a prepared statement, Bezos highlighted the massive success of AWS. ‘AWS had the unusual advantage of a seven-year head start before facing like-minded competition, and the team has never slowed down,’ he said. ‘
As a result, the AWS services are by far the most evolved and most functionality-rich.’ The rise of Amazon has turned Bezos into the world’s richest man.
The firm is currently seeking a new headquarters in the US, which has sparked a multi-million pound beauty pageant from states hoping to woo the internet giant.
Amazon’s growth has also attracted the attention of a powerful opponent – Donald Trump.
In a series of tweets since he took office, the US President has accused the firm of not paying enough tax, ripping off the US Postal Service and driving retailers out of business.
Trump, who was last month reported to be ‘obsessed’ with Amazon and Bezos, is said to have ordered White House officials to draw up policies that would target what he claims are the company’s unfair business practices.
‘Our fully paying retailers are closing stores all over the country. Not a level playing field’, he stormed earlier this month.
This week, Bezos responded. ‘All large institutions should be scrutinised or examined,’ he said while attending an awards event. ‘It is not personal.
‘We will work with any set of regulations that we are given. We will follow those rules and find a new way to delight customers.’
Following the results, Bezos is now expected to lay out to investors future plans for the growth of AWS, as well as further investment in the company’s logistics division, and plans to expand its grocery delivery and Alexa speaker service.
Last year, Amazon bought Ring, a video doorbell system, which allows homeowners to let in delivery men even when they are not at home.