Between the end of June and late September, Amazon hired 160,000 more people, bringing its workforce up to 541,900.

Extraordinary stats like these make Amazon's consistent lack of profits no surprise, as investors are long-familiar with Jeff Bezos's decision to continue delivering flat profit growth. The question is how long they'll continue to accept that as costs for things like a swelling workforce keep apace with growing sales.

Shares of Amazon soared by 13% on Friday -- on top of a 45% rise since the start of 2017 -- after the company soundly beat expectations with its third quarter financials. The company's global sales jumped by more than a third to $43.7 billion, though profits hardly budged, coming in just $4 million higher from last year, at $256 million.


investors seem happy enough to continue dismissing higher costs. Analysts at Jeffries said Amazon was still best positioned to benefit from the seismic shift to online shopping, which they say is destined to reach 30% of retail sales in the long term, from 10% today.

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