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These moves contributed to Amazon’s US$3.17 billion profit in the period ended Mar 31, compared with a loss of $3.84 billion, a year earlier.

But this did little to draw investors. David Klink, an analyst at Huntington National Bank, said the company’s cloud slowdown was “tremendous”.

“You’re not seeing (that) at either Microsoft or Google,” said Klink, whose bank owned US$129 million in Amazon stock as of Thursday.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE?

Amazon has sought new revenue all the while. Olsavsky told reporters that the economy has brightened internationally.

“It’s good to see inflation going down there,” he said. “It’s good to see consumer confidence increasing.”

In North America, Amazon’s largest market, demand held up, he said. But “you see signs that customers are looking for value” and “probably putting off some discretionary purchases”.

Ultimately, the online retailer reported better-than-expected sales of US$127.36 billion in the first three months of the year, and it forecast revenue between US$127 billion and US$133 billion in the second quarter.

Its economy-wary customers aside, Amazon aimed to project confidence for its cloud longer-term.

Jassy said the growing adoption of generative AI, which can create text, imagery and other content from past data, represented a huge opportunity for Amazon’s cloud. One reason is its proprietary chips that he said can power much of what businesses wish to do with AI; another is Amazon’s own new AI tools.

Likewise, Olsavsky told reporters, Amazon had seen no shift in the competitive balance among cloud providers. His comments followed a financial report by Microsoft this week that exceeded analysts’ expectations as the Amazon rival drew business through AI. AWS sales growth slowed to 15.8 per cent in the first quarter.

Dennis Dick, an equity trader and market structure analyst at Triple D Trading, said shareholders were likely to sell.

“AWS growth slowing is a signal for investors to take profits,” he said. 

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