Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos famously hates talking to the investment community. He dislikes it so much that he leaves earnings calls to his deputies.
But analysts still need answers, and lots of them. Far from its roots as an online bookseller and then an internet shopping mall, Amazon is now a vast conglomerate of products, services and technologies for the novice shopper to the most sophisticated software engineer.
It's also one of the most valuable businesses in the world, meaning the stock is a must-own for practically every big portfolio manager.
For Brian Olsavsky, the chief financial officer, and Darin Manney, director of investor relations director, the quarterly chat with analysts is a bruising hour or so of rapid-fire questions. On Thursday, the pair touched on no fewer than 12 products or markets where Amazon is investing, following a quarter in which operating expenses topped $31 billion.