Jeff Bezos loses $13.5 billion as Amazon share price plunges

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Jeff Bezos walks near Blue Origin’s New Shepard after flying into space (Getty Images)
Jeff Bezos walks near Blue Origin’s New Shepard after flying into space (Getty Images)

The net worth of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos dropped by $13.5bn after the company reported earnings that were below the expectations of analysts.

The drop removed 80 per cent of the increase to Mr Bezos net worth this year, Bloomberg reported. The huge drop is equal to 58 per cent of Nasa’s budget for 2021.

It is Amazon’s second-quarter results that have done damage to Mr Bezos’s wealth. The after-market results on Thursday didn’t meet Wall Street’s expectations and possibly signalled the beginning of the end of the sales increase for the online retail giant fuelled by the pandemic when consumers relied on the company to avoid going to stores.

The online retailer posted revenues of over $100bn for the third quarter in a row on Thursday, which still wasn’t good enough to avoid the stock price dive.

Amazon’s share price plunged 7.2 per cent to around $3,340 on Friday, pulling down the wealth of its founder and former CEO with it, to an estimated $196.6bn, from a starting point of around $207bn.

Mr Bezos is still classified as the world’s richest person following the drop, about $8bn ahead of Tesla founder Elon Musk.

The earnings of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, increased the wealth of co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, while Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg didn’t see their net worths soar despite solid results from Microsoft and Facebook.

Mr Zuckerberg boasted about his vision for the future of Facebook as a “metaverse” last week but lost $5.4bn on Thursday as the company’s shares experienced their largest drop in two months following worries about its ad sales growth. Facebook stock is currently valued at about $355.

Mr Bezos’ focus appears to be more towards his space company, Blue Origin, following his first spaceflight earlier this month.

The company has sold more than $100m worth of tickets for future space travel.

The US Government Accountability Office rejected protests on Friday from companies affiliated with Mr Bezos that Mr Musk’s SpaceX was wrongly awarded a Nasa contract to exclusively build an astronaut lunar lander.

Mr Bezos’s Blue Origin and Leidos’s subsidiary Dynetics filed the complaints.

“NASA did not violate procurement law or regulation when it decided to make only one award ... the evaluation of all three proposals was reasonable, and consistent with applicable procurement law, regulation, and the announcement’s terms,” GAO managing associate general counsel Kenneth Patton said in a statement, according to CNBC.

SpaceX was awarded the contract, worth around $2.9bn, in April.

Mr Bezos has held the post of world’s richest person since March after briefly losing the spot to Mr Musk.

The Amazon founder stepped down as its CEO earlier this year, but still owns just over 10 per cent of the company and serves as its executive chairman.

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