Amazon reports its second-quarter results later today, and Wall Street analysts will have one eye on the actual financials and another one on new revenue streams expected to emerge in the back half of 2011.
For the quarter ended June 30, Wall Street is expecting earnings of 35 cents a share on revenue of $9.38 billion. Keep in mind that the second quarter is usually Amazon's slowest of the year. According to Thomson Reuters, Amazon is expected to deliver revenue of $10.35 billion in the third quarter and $17.4 billion in the fourth quarter.
In other words, Amazon is your typical retailer that lives for the final three months of the year. The difference is that Amazon has a lot of interesting side businesses that can turn out to be big revenue streams in the future. Here's a look at some future items that will be the focus of analyst questions. Unfortunately, it's highly unlikely that Amazon will provide much comment or detail.
Amazon's tablet. It has been clear for months that Amazon is prepping the contract equipment supply chain for a tablet. And given Amazon's biggest quarter is the fourth, it's also likely that this tablet--perhaps with new Kindles--will appear in the next few weeks. Big projects just don't happen in the fourth quarter at a retailer--there's too much at stake. As noted previously, Amazon's tablet would transition the company even more toward digital delivery and boost margins. In fact, Amazon isn't likely to make any money from its tablet. Why? The device will be subsidized by e-commerce sales and ads.
Analysts are betting that Amazon's tablet may break the $299 mark. That price would undercut other Android rivals.… Read more