"You can call the money spent as expenses, I see it as investment".
The truth is the cost to build distribution centers is not included in the expenses that caused lower earnings and the company does not claim that they are. These are capital investments whose costs only start to hit the income statement once they start filling orders from the new center. However the cost of beefing up their staff ahead of anticipated increased sales is expensed.
More important though are the grey areas that accounting rules say you have to expense but some feel represent investments in future growth, costs such as R&D in developing Kindle products and marketing.
The way I look at it, there's a good reason why you are not allowed to capitalize those costs. It is too difficult to tie them with any certainty to future revenues.
I'm all for investing in the future and it may well be that Amazon is doing exactly the right thing from an operational perspective. But you can't give future growth and future potential the same weight as cash earned now.
The really twisted thing with Amazon is that investors are in fact giving it more than the benefit doubt. They are valuing that future potential growth higher than the actual and considerable cash flows of companies such as Apple and Google.
When it comes to Amazon, apparently two birds in the bush are worth more than one in hand.