Amazon disclosed that it will spend about $4 billion on coronavirus-related measures such as testing and cleaning in the fourth quarter, up from $2.5 billion in the third. Amazon is also investing heavily to increase its capacity as the pandemic sends shoppers increasingly online.
In its earnings report, Amazon said that a highly unpredictable fourth quarter could generate between $1 billion and $4.5 billion in operating income. The pandemic, the economic situation, and the upcoming election have all combined to create an especially volatile environment, and Amazon's tentative predictions for the last three months of the year reflect that uncertainty.
That $3.5 billion difference between the high and low end of the guidance range leaves a lot for investors to consider.