Jeff Bezos looked set to keep his crown as the world’s richest man after Amazon shares rebounded following a sharp fall following disappointing results on Thursday night.
At the start of the day, Mr Bezos had looked set to see his wealth fall by $ 7bn (£ 5.5bn) as shares in the online retailer tumbled, which would have wiped $ 80 bn from Amazon’s value and letMicrosoft founder Bill Gates once again overtake Mr Bezosas the richest individual.
Mr Gates has been the wealthiest person on theForbesrich list for 18 out of the past 24 years up until last year.
However, over the course of Friday, Amazon clawed back some of the losses as investors digested its results, leaving the shares down just 1.3pc.
Mr Bezos owns the biggest stake in the company with 58 million shares worth almost $ 100 BN.
The rocky day of trading for Amazon came after the company revealed on Thursday evening that profits had fallen to $ 2.1bn during the three months to September – theirfirst decline in more than two years.
Amazon had said the 25 pc drop had been down to a major investment in expanding its one-day delivery service, which Mr Bezos said was the “right long-term decision for customers”.
The company said profits were likely to continue slipping in the fourth quarter as it planned to spend about $ 1.5bn on one-day shipping – almost double the figure for the three months to June.
Amazon’s revenues continued to soar, up 24 pc to $ 70 bn, prompting questions from analyst about the impact on margins.
“The company makes these investments without really explaining them in detail, and investors are left on their own trying to figure out when Amazon will start delivering outsized profits again, “said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.
However, Moody’s analyst Charlie O’Shea said the spend on one-day delivery was “strategically-necessary”.