Furthermore, Internet real estate doesn’t require Amazon to make monthly lease payments. But Amazon, in turn, can collect rent from other retailers by “renting” out its virtual real estate. In fact, Amazon made roughly $3 billion last year, or 30% of sales, from outside sellers by “renting” out its Internet real estate to third-party sellers.
Amazon is a very interesting stock. It is not cheap (on a PE basis) and trying to evaluate what the earning picture will look like going forward is not easy. This article does a good job of looking at some of the interesting questions.