One of the best businessmen of all time just complimented another of the best businessmen of all time. Legendary investor Warren Buffett told CNBC that Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, is "the most remarkable business person of our age." Buffett added that he "can't think of another example like it."
The Oracle of Omaha was particularly impressed that Bezos has managed to dominate both the ecommerce and cloud computing markets. "I've never seen a guy succeed in two businesses, almost simultaneously, that are really quite divergent in terms of customers and all of the operations," Buffett said.
Boosting Buffett's thesis, last week Amazon reported first-quarter earnings, one of the strongest among a slew of other companies. On the earnings call, CFO Brian Olsavsky described Amazon's internal investment philosophy. "Right now, we're just seeing a lot of great opportunities before us. And we're continuing to ramp up investments in pursuit of those opportunities." Amazon aims for "things that customers love, can grow to be large, will have strong financial returns, and they're durable and will last for decades."
The earnings call pleased Wall Street. Amazon is best-known for its ecommerce platform, but most of the company's profits actually come from Amazon Web Services. The cloud-hosting business is not growing as fast as some competitors' offerings, but it's still by far the market leader.
Some $890 million of Amazon's total operating income of $1.01 billion came from Amazon Web Services, which is technically Amazon's "secondary" business, Marketwatch editor Jeremy Owens noted. He continued, "This is two gigantic businesses in one, one of which has high sales but small margins, the other with strong margins but smaller revenue totals that are growing much faster."