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Amazon's Jeff Bezos tops Gates as world's richest man briefly

Shares of the online retailer rose 1.3% to $1,065.92, giving Bezos a net worth of $90.9 billion

Shelly Hagan & Spencer Soper | Bloomberg 

Amazon, Jeff Bezos, launch of amazon prime video, prime video, netflix
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Photo: Reuters

A surge in com shares on Thursday morning in advance of the online retailer’s earnings report has propelled founder past as the world’s richest person.
 
Shares of the online retailer rose 1.3 per cent to $1,065.92 at 10:10 am in New York, giving Bezos a net worth of $90.9 billion, versus $90.7 billion for Gates. If that holds through the 4pm close, Bezos, 53, will leapfrog Gates, the co-founder, on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates, 61, has held the top spot since May 2013.

 
Investors and analysts, in addition to watching Amazon’s progress in taking market share in categories such as apparel and groceries, will be scrutinising how many new subscriptions the retailer sold for its $99-a-year Prime service, which offers delivery discounts and video and music streaming. Prime shoppers spend more than customers who don’t have a membership.
 
Prime is why so much physical retail is going away,” said Michael Pachter, a Wedbush Securities analyst who has a buy rating on the stock and a price target of $1,250. “Anyone who joins Prime shops in retail stores 10 per cent less, and that number will keep accelerating as adds more inventory.”
 
Investors also monitor Amazon’s cloud-computing division, Web Services, a fast-growing and profitable business that accounts for about 10 per cent of revenue. leads the cloud-computing industry, but faces increasing competition from and Google parent Alphabet.
 
is expected to post quarterly revenue of $37.2 billion, a 22 per cent jump from a year earlier, according to the average estimate of 34 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, and earnings per share of $1.42.
 
Facebook’s intraday gains have helped pull co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, 33, within $200 million of Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett, 86, who’s currently ranked fourth on the Bloomberg index with a net worth of $74.5 billion.
 
Bezos owns about 17 per cent of Seattle-based Amazon, which has surged 40 per cent this year through on Wednesday, helping to add $24.5 billion to his net worth. He started 2017 as the world’s fourth-wealthiest person and has since leapfrogged Buffett and Inditex founder Amancio Ortega, 81, who ranks third with $82.7 billion. 

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