Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) remains a strong play on either side of the trade in its post-earnings action tonight, but it's the long side that sees the more consistent history of next-day outperformance following earnings-driven after-hours trade.
AMZN has been a steady session-to-session performer within our earnings database. The stock has compiled wider next-day closing levels in the regular session following 22 of its last 36 after-hours earnings events - or 61% of the time. The near-term performance leans toward narrowing, doing so in nine of the last 12 quarters. Of note on these last nine reversal moves - all but two have been recorded following an evening decline, a factor shorts should be wary of and where longs may want to consider that they may not be left out of the trade.
Looking deeper into AMZN's data, it has seen an earnings-driven after-hours decline in 23 of the 36 quarters we've tracked. In 12 of those 23 quarters (52%), the stock has added to its after-hours declines in the following regular session.
It has recorded an earnings-driven after-hours gain in 13 of the 36 quarters we've tracked, and in 10 of those 13 events (77%), the stock has added to its evening gain in the following day's regular session.
AMZN is expected to report a Q4 profit of $0.29 per share on revenue of $22.25 billion, according to Capital IQ.
The historical performance data follows:
On Oct. 25, 2012, AMZN dropped 3.2% in after-hours trade after missing on Q3 sales and setting Q4 guidance below the Street. The stock reversed sharply the next day, ending the Oct. 26 regular session up 6.8%.
On July 26, 2012, AMZN advanced 1.4% in after-hours trade after reporting mostly in-line results and guidance. The stock added to its upside the next day, ending the July 27 regular session up 7.8%.
On April 26, 2012, AMZN surged 14.4% in after-hours trade after posting better-than-expected Q1 results. The stock firmed higher the next day, advancing 15.7% by the close on April 27.
On Jan. 31, 2012, AMZN dropped 8.5% in after-hours trade after missing Q4 sales expectations and setting its guidance in-line to below the Street view. The stock narrowed its downside the next day, closing the Feb. 1 regular session down 7.7%.
On Oct. 25, 2011, AMZN plummeted 12.6% in evening trade after missing on Q3 earnings and setting its Q4 sales guidance mostly below the Street view. The stock added just slightly to its decline the next day, ending the Oct. 26 regular session off 12.66%.
On July 27, 2011, AMZN advanced 6.4% in night trade on the back of better-than-expected results and in-line to higher guidance. The stock shed some of its gains the next day, ending the July 28 regular session up 3.8%.
On April 26, 2011, AMZN dropped 2.1% in after-hours action after posting a Q1 profit below expectations but beating on sales and guiding above the Street view. The stock reversed direction the following day, ending up 7.8% on April 27.
On Jan. 27, 2011, AMZN slumped 8.6% in evening action after coming in just shy of Q4 sales expectations. The stock saw its downside narrow slightly the next day, closing the Jan. 28 regular session off 7.2%.
On Oct. 21, 2010, AMZN declined 4.6% in after-hours trade after beating Q3 expectations and setting its guidance mostly above the Street view. The stock reversed direction the following day, closing up 2.5%.
On July 22, 2010, the stock fell 13.3% after mixed earnings and disappointing sales guidance. Shares fell a much slimmer 1% during regular trading later that day.
On April 22, 2010, the stock fell 5.9% after a Q1 earnings beat but disappointing guidance. Shares fell a slimmer 4.3% the following day.
On Jan. 28, 2010, AMZN firmed 2% in after-hours trade after beating Q4 expectations and setting plans to buy back up to $2 billion in stock. The issue lost its gain the following day, ending the Jan. 29 regular session down 0.5%.
On Oct. 22, 2009, AMZN leaped 14.5% in evening trade after beating Q3 expectations and setting guidance mostly above the Street view. The stock soared higher the following day, closing the Oct. 23 regular session up 26.8%.
On July 23, 2009, AMZN slumped 6.8% in after-hours trade after beating Street expectations and offering guidance that straddled consensus estimates. The stock added to its downside the following day, ending the July 24 regular session down 7.8%.
On April 23, 2009, AMZN gained 2.5% in after-hours trade after topping Q1 expectations and setting its Q2 revenue guidance in a range that straddled the Street view. The stock firmed higher the following day, ending the April 24 regular session up 4.7%.
On Jan. 29, 2008, the stock rose 13.2% in extended-hours trading after a Q4 earnings beat. Shares jumped 17.6% the next day.
On Oct. 22, 2008, AMZN tumbled 13.7% in after-hours action after topping the Street's earnings view, coming in shy on sales, and setting guidance in-line to a near miss. The stock pulled a hard reversal the following day, closing the regular session up 0.6%.
On July 24, 2008, AMZN advanced 8.1% in after-hours trade after topping expectations and guiding higher. The stock added to its upside the next day, closing the July 25 regular session up 11.8%.
On April 23, 2008, AMZN shed 5.2% in after-hours trade after beating Q1 expectations and setting guidance in line to above the Street view. It narrowed its downside in the April 24 regular session, declining 4% by the close.
On Jan. 30, 2008, AMZN tumbled 11.1% in after-hours trade after beating on revenue, meeting on earnings and setting guidance above Street estimates. It saw that decline evaporate the next day as the stock charged to the plus side and ended the Jan. 31 regular session with a 4.7% gain.
On Oct. 23, 2007, the stock dropped 10.5% in the evening session after despite the company's Q3 beat and guidance mostly above expectations. The loss was 12% the next day.
On July 24, 2007, AMZN soared 20.3% in night trade after better-than-expected Q2 results and guidance. Shares added to those gains, closing the next day session up 24.4%.
On April 24, 2007, AMZN jumped 12.1% in evening trade after beating Q1 estimates and guiding above Street views. Shares surged the next day, closing the regular session up 26.9%.
On Feb. 1, 2007, AMZN dipped 0.5% in night trade despite topping Q4 estimates and guiding Q1 and 2007 sales above Street views. Shares lost even more ground the next day, closing the regular session down 3.4%.
On the evening of Oct. 24, AMZN jumped 14.1% after the company reported above the Street with Q3 results and guided for FY sales above. The strong gain wasn't quite replicated the next day, shares closed up 12%.
On July 25, 2006, AMZN slid 12.1% in night trade after Q2 sales improved from a year ago but net income fell. The shares tumbled further the next day, closing the regular session down 21.8%.
On April 25, 2006, AMZN edged up 0.5% in after hours when the company topped Q1 sales expectations and reported EPS in line with forecasts. The shares firmed just a touch more the next day, ending the regular session up 0.6%.
On February 2, 2006, AMZN dropped 8.1% in evening trade after reporting a decline in Q4 EPS from a year ago. Shares tumbled further the next day, ending the regular session down 10.3%.
On October 25, 2005, AMZN gave up 7.6% in night trade despite beating Q3 estimates, excluding a legal charge. Shares still could not climb back and ended the next regular session down 13.9%.
On July 26, 2005, AMZN jumped 10.6% after besting Q2 expectations. It widened its upside in the July 27 regular session, climbing 15.6%.
AMZN slid 3.3% the night of April 26, 2005 after the company posted a lower profit in Q1 versus a year ago due to a one-time tax expense. Sales rose year-over-year, tempering the stock's decline in night trade. The stock saw its decline cut back to a 3% slide by the close on April 27.
AMZN plummeted 14.1% on the night of Feb. 2, 2005 after the company missed Q4 earnings expectations and set sales guidance ranges for Q1 and FY05 that at the low end could miss the Street means. It added to its downside in next-day trade, losing 14.6% by the Feb. 3 closing bell.
In its previous four earnings reports in 2004 AMZN saw its after-hours moves post more aggressive next-day closing levels following all four events.
On Oct. 21, 2004 AMZN declined 8.7% after the company missed expectations by a penny. It closed the Oct. 22 regular session down 12.3%.
On July 22, 2004 AMZN lost 4% in night trade on an EPS miss and in-line guidance. It ended the July 23 regular session down 12.7%.
AMZN beat expectations the night of April 22, 2004 but offered a sales view that could miss estimates. It slipped 2.5% in after-hours trade, only to see sellers hit it harder on April 23, dropping it 5.2% by the closing bell.
Finally, back on Jan. 27, 2004 AMZN declined 3.6% in night trade after beating the Street and guiding sales ahead of the Street. It lost 6.7% by the close on Jan. 28.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.