(CNN Business)Amazon now finds itself in an elite group of companies whose annual revenue can be measured in the hundreds of billions.
The company said Thursday that its holiday quarter sales hit $72.4 billion, up 20% from the same period a year earlier and at the high end of its previous forecast. The strong end to the year pushed Amazon’s annual revenue to an impressive $232.9 billion.
But sales growth is slowing as Amazon (AMZN) runs up against the law of large numbers. Its 20% sales growth for the quarter was well below the 38% growth it saw in the same period a year earlier. Amazon also forecast weaker than expected sales for the first quarter of 2019.
As its sales growth has slowed, the company has quickly positioned itself as a profit machine. Amazon reported $3 billion in profit for the final three months of 2018, marking the fifth consecutive quarter that its profits topped $1 billion.
Amazon’s total profit for 2018 topped $10 billion for the first time in the company’s history, fueled in part by continued momentum for its cloud computing service and its nascent advertising business.
The company has had a strong start to the year on the market. Its stock was up more than 10% in January. Amazon stock was essentially flat following the earnings report Thursday.
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