Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos briefly became the world’s richest man on Thursday, Microsoft founder Bill Gates reclaimed the lead by afternoon as Amazon shares pared their gains.
NEW YORK: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos briefly became the world’s richest man Thursday in Forbes magazine’s tracking of wealth, as stock in his e-commerce company hit an all-time high.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates reclaimed the lead by afternoon, as Amazon’s stock fell nearly 1 per cent for the day to $1,046.
Amazon shares have been trading at a record high. They hit $1,083.31 at about noon Thursday. According to securities filings, Bezos owns about 80 million shares, or 17 percent; those shares were valued at more than $87 billion at the peak. Bezos also owns The Washington Post through a holding company.
Forbes said Bezos’ net worth was about $90.6 billion when the market opened Thursday. Gates had $90.1 billion. Forbes said Gates would have been the undisputed leader had he not given billions of dollars away to various philanthropic causes. Bezos issued a request for philanthropic ideas in a tweet in June, just before Amazon announced a $13.7 billion deal for organic grocer Whole Foods.
The changes in Bezos’ fortune coincided with Amazon’s report of a 77 percent decline in quarterly profit on heavy spending. Shares fell another 2 percent in after-markets trading as the company missed Wall Street’s expectations on profit.
Amazon said it earned $197 million, or 40 cents per share, in the second quarter, down from $857 million, or $1.78 per share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Zacks investment Research were expecting earnings of $1.40 per share on revenue.
Revenue grew 25 percent to $38 billion, compared with $30 billion a year ago. That topped expectations of $37.2 billion.
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