The last time Amazon suffered a more dramatic loss was the fourth quarter of 2008, when the company lost 30 percent of its value. The only quarters with bigger drops were during the dot-com collapse of 2000 and 2001, when Amazon suffered declines of 33 percent or more four times, according to FactSet.
Amazon was hardly even the same company then. Amazon Web Services wasn’t launched until 2006 and the Kindle e-reader came out a year later. Amazon Prime was introduced 2005. In 2001, Amazon had fewer than 7,800 employees, a number that climbed to 20,700 by the end of 2008. Today, the company employs 566,000 people.
Even after the stock’s plunge, it’s up 245-fold from 2001 and 29-fold from the end of 2008.
Quarterly revenue now exceeds $56 billion, while 17 years ago it was $700 million. Most of the revenue then came from sales of books, music and DVDs.
During 2018, we’ve grown accustomed to launches of Alexa-powered devices, the opening of cashierless stores and the release of new movies produced by Amazon Studios. In 2001, the company launched an online computer store.
“With the latest desktops and notebooks from leading brands like Apple, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Toshiba, the new store offers computer solutions for everyone from small-business owners, families and college students to gamers, road warriors, graphics enthusiasts, technophiles and others,” Amazon said in a press release on Aug. 29, 2001.