Amazon's Latest Earnings Tell of Nearly 1400 New Robot Employees

Believe it or not, it's earning seasons again, and a company that always seems to make things interesting in this regard is Amazon. While it's stock price is soaring, the past few quarters have shown tremendous revenue with next to no profit. This quarter, however, Amazon didn't manage to make a dime. While Q3 2013 sales were up 24% to $17.09 billion, and operating cash flow increased 48% to $4.98 billion, pure profit was down.

All told, Amazon posted a net loss of $41 million in Q3, but in some ways, it's actually being viewed as a positive. Why? Because last Q3 the company posted a loss of $274 million, so at least things aren't quite as rough this year. The numbers, however, only tell part of the story. In fact, this is the first earnings release we can recall where the CEO comes out and says this: "In the last 90 days, our AWS team got back to work on a big government contract, we brought 8 million square feet of fulfillment center capacity online, deployed 1,382 Kiva robots in three FCs, provided a new venue for artists to reach customers, signed up millions of new Prime members, announced Kindle MatchBook, Login & Pay, and nine new original TV pilots, joined the coalition, acquired TenMarks—a company that helps kids with math, scored a win for customers who want to use Kindles on airplanes even during takeoff and landing (also, a big hat tip to Nick Bilton on that one), began hiring and training 70,000 new U.S. FC employees to help serve customers this holiday season, and saw the Kindle Million Club grow to include 14 KDP authors.”

Read it closely: Amazon deployed nearly 1400 robots into its working staff. If ever there were a reason to shudder at the thought of robots taking over, perhaps this is the earliest of signs.