Amazon announced Thursday that it raised its annual prime membership fee to $139 per year from $119. The announcement came as the company reported profits in the fourth quarter nearly doubled, beating analysts’ expectations.
For new Prime members, the price change will go into effect on February 18, and for current Prime members the price will change March 25. According to a press release from the company, this is the first time Amazon has raised the price since 2018.
"In the last few years, Amazon has added more product selection available with fast, free, unlimited Prime shipping; more exclusive deals and discounts; and more high-quality digital entertainment, including TV, movies, music, and books," Amazon said in the release.
As the new price of Prime was reported, the company announced a profit of $14.32 billion, or $27.75 per share, for the three-month period ended Dec. 31. That compared with a profit of $7.22 billion, or $14.09 per share, during the year-ago period.
Revenue rose 9% to $137.41 billion, Amazon's fifth consecutive quarter of revenue topping $100 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet on average expected $137.68 billion in quarterly revenue and per-share earnings of $3.61 per share.
Shares reached nearly 17% in after market trading for Amazon.
The Associated Press also reported Amazon was one of the only retailers that gained profits amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Stores selling non-essential goods temporarily or permanently closed and people at home shopped on Amazon for an abundance of things from groceries to cleaning supplies.
Meanwhile, the company is facing obstacles as workers are attempting to unionize. Workers at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, organized by the Retail Wholesale and Department Store union, will begin voting for the second time Friday.