There is only one story ever written about Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos: That he has defied the skeptics, has had the last laugh, and is now looking to the future. Fortune's latest iteration of the formula is no exception. It begins with an obligatory near-death experience — in this case, a not-quite-fatal helicopter ride near Bezos's West Texas spaceport. And then, Christlike, the escape from death, the resurrection, and the glory. The glory: A stock price driven up not by technical innovations like Amazon's Web services, but by expanding profit margins, the result of tightened R&D spending. Wall Street, not Bezos, has the last laugh, but that conclusion doesn't fit the formula.