On Thursday, Amazon Inc. posted a “gigantic” $544 million operating loss for its third quarter ending September 30. And although CEO Jeff Bezos has long shown a willingness to sacrifice profit for growth, you have to wonder how long shareholders will go along with that strategy and what impact continuing losses will have on the company’s hugely successful Amazon Web Services effort.

As Barron’s (registration required) put it:

“A two-year-old start-up can get a pass from shareholders for reporting quarterly losses, provided that its growth prospects are bright. But “just wait” is a tougher sell when the start-up recently turned 20, as  did this year.”

On Friday, investors voted with their feet, sending Amazon per-share price skidding 8.3 percent to $287.06 from the previous day’s close of $313.18..

Complicating matters for AWS is the growing perception that [company]Microsoft[/company] Azure and [company]Google[/company] Cloud Platform are viable competitors to AWS backed by companies with very, very…

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