1493336692324 - Amazon’s Jeff Bezos makes $4.8 billion in five-minute share surge

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos makes $4.8 billion in five-minute share surge

A surge in after-hours trading for Amazon added US$3.3 billion (NZ$4.8 billion) to the fortune of founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, putting him less than $5 billion away from becoming the world’s richest person.

Bezos saw his fortune surpass $80 billion for the first time, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The 53-year-old has added $65.2 billion to his net worth since the index debuted in March 2012 and ended on Thursday (Friday NZT) with a net worth of $79 billion. His net worth will surpass $80 billion on the index for the first time if the gains hold on Friday.

Amazon shares added almost $50 after the company projected sales that may beat estimates in the current quarter, furthering an unbroken 20-year streak of double-digit revenue growth.

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Amazon had first-quarter sales of $35.7 billion and earnings of $1.48 a share, beating Wall Street analyst expectations. Shares closed at $918.38 on Thursday and reached as high as $965 after hours.

The rise for Bezos beat the after-hours gains seen by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The pair added $1.4 billion when shares of Google parent Alphabet rose as high as $938.18 on news that the smartphone ad business helped Alphabet post revenue of $20.12 billion and net income of $7.73 a share.

Page is now worth $44.7 billion and Brin $43.7 billion, the 11th- and 12th-richest people in the world on Thursday.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has been No. 1 on the Bloomberg index since May 17, 2013. His fortune slipped $200 million to $87.1 billion after hours as Microsoft presented mixed results and slowing tablet sales growth.