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Amazon Blows Away Fourth Quarter Earnings Expectations

Posted by: Peter Burrows on January 29, 2009

This is getting embarrassing for every other retailer on the planet. While Circuit City was shuttering its doors and many others were holding on for dear life, Amazon was blasting past Wall Street’s expectations. Sales rose 18%, to $6.7 billion, while profits increased 9%. Earnings per share were $.52, versus consensus estimates of $.39. The stock is currently up 13% in after-hours trading, to $56.57.

Most of the good news came out of the core etailing operation. But evidence continues to mount that the company is also finding success in some of its other major strategic initiatives. The “Other” segment that’s comprised mostly of the Web Services unit that provides cloud-computing technology services rose from $111 million to $147 million. But now the focus will turn to Kindle e-book reader. While the company has still not given sales figures, my sources think the number is around 400,000—many of them after CEO Jeff Bezos went on Oprah to plug the device last Fall. The company is expected to do the first update of the product at a press event in New York on February 9.

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Reader Comments


January 30, 2009 02:48 PM

Amazon is changing global retailing with its innovations and interesting business models. In a presentation recorded 20/11/2008 Dr Werner Vogels, CTO at Amazon, describes the benefits of platform business models and Amazon’s ‘flywheel’ for growth.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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