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Earnings Outlook: Amazon earnings: Record holiday sales to take center stage

Amazon.com Inc. is expected to report much stronger earnings and sales when it unveils fourth-quarter earnings after the market closes Thursday, buoyed by a record holiday season for e-commerce sales.

Amazon’s AMZN, +1.08% cloud-computing business has been a star over the past few quarters. While that business, whose closest competitor is Microsoft Corp.’s MSFT, -1.66% Azure, is expected to show continued strength this quarter, much of the focus in this particular earnings report will be on e-commerce sales.

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At the end of December, Amazon said it had its best-ever holiday season in 2016, shipping more than 1 billion items world-wide.

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