What Will Amazon's Q1 Earnings Reveal About AWS? Partners Place Their Bets

With Amazon finally breaking out Amazon Web Services earnings Thursday, the projections and prognostications that have been routinely put forward over the years by investors, analysts and insiders will finally either be validated or revealed as a bunch of hokum.

Speculation has always been rampant about what the numbers look like for the world's biggest cloud. Now that we're about to find out, three brave AWS partners were willing to publicly venture guesses.

Jamie Begin, CEO of RightBrain Networks in Ann Arbor, Mich., employed some logic -- federal accounting standards require corporations to break out individual segments when they exceed 10 percent of the entire business.

[Related: Amazon Partner: No Worries Over Citigroup's Estimate of AWS 2014 Loss]

Sponsored post

By that reasoning, Begin concludes AWS is likely on its way to being a $9 billion per year business.

"We all know it's going to be a big number," Begin told CRN. But he doesn't believe the number in itself will be the most compelling part of the story.

"What will be interesting will be seeing how much color they provide around the top line number. Will margins be disclosed? Will capital expenditures for AWS be clearly broken out?" Begin asked.

Kevin RisonChu, director of systems and infrastructure at Mirum Agency in San Diego, predicts the numbers will reveal that AWS is quite profitable, and possibly that the cloud business has been holding up the e-commerce giant as a whole.

But RisonChu adds he's curious to see the actual results. "They’ve kept this data so close, and I’m not much of a financial analyst to have anything to back it up," he told CRN.

Jeff Aden, vice president of business development at 2nd Watch, also puts his money on profitability.

"With the growth we are seeing, we would say that we think the earnings will be higher than $6 billion, and profitable," Aden told CRN.

So the three partners brave enough to be possibly proven wrong all believe AWS is a big money-maker for Amazon, unlike some recent analysts, like Citigroup, which estimate that the cloud runs, for the time being, at a loss. In a few hours we'll know for sure.