OREANDA-NEWS. April 29, 2016.  Amazon, a company known for spending like a drunken sailor, appears to have sobered up. At least for now.

The world's largest online retailer on Thursday reported unexpectedly strong sales and earnings in the first quarter, blowing out analysts' projections and driving shares up more 12 percent after hours. The report marked Amazon's fourth-straight profitable quarter and Amazon's best-ever quarterly profit yet.

This was not business as usual.

After typically posting razor-thin (or nonexistent) profits for years despite skyrocketing revenues, Amazon may finally be making good on Wall Street's expectations that it will, someday, become a fantastically profitable company. Yet with CEO Jeff Bezos' bevy of growth initiatives still in the works, this quarter may be more of a blip than Amazon's new normal.

So far, Amazon has made huge investments on new distribution centers, new consumer electronics, original TV programming, advertising with Alec Baldwin, fashion and home goods, grocery deliveries, delivery drones and new products for its cloud-computing services. None of those investment projects are going away anytime soon.