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Earnings Preview: Amazon to post 2Q results

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Amazon.com Inc. will likely show healthy U.S. revenue growth while weakness persists in Europe when it reports second-quarter results after the stock market closes on Thursday.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Investors will focus on revenue growth as the company's ongoing investments in order fulfillment and rights to digital content continue to weigh on profit margins. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali, who rates the online retailer and Kindle maker's stock a "Buy," said that while overall consumer e-commerce activity was healthy in the U.S., "Europe remained weak."

Last week, eBay Inc. gave a disappointing outlook for the second half of the year citing a challenging overseas market.

WHY IT MATTERS: As the world's largest online retailer, Amazon's results can provide a glimpse into the mood of consumers in the U.S. and around the world.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts, on average, are expecting earnings of 5 cents per share on revenue of $15.74 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Amazon earned $7 million, or a penny per share, a drop of 96 percent from $191 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue grew 29 percent to $12.83 billion.