Amazon posted solid third-quarter earnings today, announcing a 62% rise in profit to $199 million, or $.45 per share -- crushing analyst forecasts of $.30 per share. Revenue rose 28% to $5.45 billion, which also far exceeded analyst expectations of $5.03 billion.

The e-commerce company said that revenue from items like books, CDs and DVDs was up 17% at $2.93 billion, while electronics and other general merchandise soared by 44% to $2.36 billion. Revenue in North America was up by 23%, and rose 33% globally.

Amazon's Kindle e-book reader was reportedly its best seller during the period, though no specific figures were given. The company did say, however, that it intends to release software next month that allows consumers to buy Kindle books and read them on a PC -- no matter if they own a Kindle.

Amazon also announced a $20 price cut on the international version of the Kindle (now $259), and that it is discontinuing the original US-only Sprint-backed Kindle. The price reduction is undoubtedly a response to Barnes & Noble's "Nook" e-reader, which debuted yesterday for $259.