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Amazon Embracing Profits Even as Investment Grows

The big question hanging over Amazon lately is whether it will continue to post decent profits or invest them in a series of new ventures. The answer, CEO Jeff Bezos and other senior managers indicated to investors recently, is that profits will remain important.

In a previously unreported meeting held with a group of investors earlier this year, Mr. Bezos and others on his leadership team talked up the company’s commitment to being smart about its spending and “staying fit” financially, according to a person who attended the meeting. Another person at the meeting said the Amazon executives’ comments were consistent with past statements that did not promise profit margins but rather “trying to achieve high returns on invested capital in the long term.” Still, some at the meeting left the one-hour session feeling reassured that Amazon will try to maintain decent profit margins.

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