Amazon vs Walmart Revenues and Profits 1995-2014

In this post, we will compare Amazon and Walmart revenues, net profits, and net profit margins for the years 1995 to 2014. This will help us see how the two companies have grown over the past 20 years. On July 24, 2015, Amazon crossed Walmart to become the biggest retailer by market value. Is the Amazon valuation justified?

Amazon Revenues, Net Profits, and Net Profit Margins – 1995 to 2014

Amazon generated $511 thousand of revenues during 1995 and had a net loss of $303 thousand. During 2014, Amazon generated $89 billion of revenues and had a net loss of $241 million. Net profit margins were very negative during first 7-8 years. Then, they turned positive. Net profits margins have been nearly flat for the last 3 years.

Amazon Revenues 1995-2014

Amazon Net Profits 1995-2014

Amazon Net Profit Margins 1995-2014

Walmart Revenues, Net Profits, and Net Profit Margins – 1995 to 2014

Walmart generated $89 billion of revenues during 1995 and had a net profit of $2.7 billion. During 2014, Walmart generated $486 billion of revenues and had a net profit of $16.2 billion. Net profit margins for Walmart have remained consistent. They have been in the range of 3.1-3.6% for the last 20 years.

Walmart Revenues 1995-2014

Walmart Net Profits 1995-2014

Walmart Net Profit Margins 1995-2014

Amazon vs Walmart – Revenues and Profits Compared

During the last 20 years, from 1995 to 2014, Amazon has generated a combined revenues of $409 billion. This means that if we add Amazon revenues for all the years from 1995 to 2014, the total would be $409 billion. In contrast, Walmart generated $486 billion in 2014 alone.

During the last 20 years, from 1995 to 2014, Amazon has generated a combined net profit of $1.96 billion. This means that if we add Amazon net profits and losses for all the years from 1995 to 2014, the total would be $1.96 billion. In contrast, Walmart generated $16.18 billion in 2014 alone. So, Walmart generated eight-times more net profit in 2014 than what Amazon could generate during the last 20 years.

Amazon vs Walmart - Revenues 2014

Amazon vs Walmart Net Profits 2014

Amazon vs Walmart – Market Cap – July 24, 2015

Amazon stock surged after its Q2’15 earnings announcement on July 23, 2015. On July 24, 2015, Amazon crossed Walmart to become the biggest retailer by market value. Amazon market cap was $246.54 billion, whereas, Walmart market cap was $230.53 billion.

Why do investors value Amazon more than Walmart? This is somewhat difficult to understand because the business fundamentals analysis favors Walmart. Amazon revenues are one-fifth of that of Walmart. Amazon revenues in 2014 nearly equal that of Walmart in 1995. Amazon still had net losses in 2014. Amazon can not come even closer to Walmart in revenues or profits over the next five to ten years. Amazon revenue growth may be higher than Walmart. But, that is of a much smaller base. The revenue growth will begin to slow down now. The revenue growth is failing to translate into net profit growth. You can not expect much profits from Amazon over next five to ten years. On a contrary, Walmart has consistently delivered net profit margin of over 3% for last 20 years. There seems less uncertainty with Walmart profits than Amazon.

Amazon vs WalMart Market Cap July 24 2015

Amazon Vs Walmart – Presentation over SlideShare

 

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I think you mean “billion” where it says “million.” You state “During 2014, Walmart generated $486 billion of revenues and had a net profit of $16.2 million.” The chart that shows revenue then shows the number $485, 651 and says “millions” above it. I believe both the chart and the $16.2 should be in billions. Wal-mart CEO Doug McMillon was paid $26M just as his own salary last year, so it wouldn’t make sense for their entire profits to be $16.2M.

  2. Do you have a chart with number of workers working for Walmart and Amazon.
    Yearly amount each spends on wages and benefits. Amount each contributes to communities and charities.

    • Hi, We do not have a chart having the number of workers working for Walmart and Amazon. However, please see if the following data is of help.

      Walmart had 2.2 million employees (“associates”) worldwide, at the end of FY 2015 (fiscal year ending January 31, 2015). 1.4 million associates were in U.S. and 0.8 million associates were in International locations.

      Amazon employed 154,100 full-time and part-time employees, as of December 31, 2014.

      So, Walmart had over 14-times more employees than Amazon.

      We do not have data on annual spending of these companies on wages and benefits. We also do not have data on how much each contribute to communities and charities.

  3. Interesting comparison, thank you for the post!

    Here’s something that I find especially striking. Look at Wal-Mart’s revenue and net income in the earliest years on the chart, 1995 to 2000. Its annual revenue growth rate was over 10%, and it was also generating net income margins in the 3% to 3.5% range.

    Amazon’s 2014 revenue of $89 billion equals Wal-Mart’s 1995 revenue. Amazon has obviously reached the point of having large revenue with lots of scale. Amazon’s recent revenue growth rate is higher than Wal-Mart in the late ’90’s, but not dramatically so. Amazon grew revenue at 20% in 2014. Amazon’s scale and revenue growth rate indicate that Amazon should be throwing off meaningful net income, if it’s core business is fundamentally profitable. Looking at this comparison suggests that it’s core business is not in fact all that profitable, which raises the question of what Amazon will (can?) do to change that.

  4. Amazon does not take risk compared to Walmart.
    Amazon is a sales agent for others and only reports as profits, the commission charged . Looks like they report someone else’s property as a sale.

    2 million employees compared to 150 thousand no comparison.
    Walmarts pays more reL property taxes my a multiple in 10,000 neighborhood.
    Walmart should be compared to Sears/Kmart and or TARGET
    COMPETITION should set the pay scale. If you continue down the more regulation set business models you will get the USPS United States Post office results measured in billions of loss and all those stores will be shuttered.
    California is approaching a TRILLION dollars in unfunded liabilities, said another way we FLAKY. Adults have charged future tax payers, our children into disaster. That’s how government jobs remuneration total is ripping our children’s future we should be ashamed.
    Now you want to make them buy from the government store!!!

  5. All public companies have since Paul VOLKER have had basically 0 cost of money as borrowed money. a lever never perceived by any economist!
    Listed companies borrowing at less than net profit percentages borrow money over time to buy back stock and push returns. When finally the interest rate is set by ww supply and demand , recognize real cost of das capital. Big Banks president simply checks each morning to see cap ratio the. Adjusts window at 1/4 of 1% cost and invests it in US obligations at about 3% and this is all qualified assets for capital ratios, who needs loan officers?

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