Amazon Q4 results: revenue up 22% but profit slips 45%

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Amazon had a predictably solid holiday season that saw revenue climb 22 percent over the same period last year to $21.27 billion. Those fortunes, however, were overshadowed by a 45 percent decline in profit, dropping to just $97 million to close out the year. In 2011, the Internet retail giant turned a profit of $177 million.

Analysts were expecting Amazon to post revenue of $22.26 billion that would have been good for $0.27 per share. The company noted that operating income increased 56 percent to $405 million during Q4 2012, compared to just $206 million during the same time a year ago. But even still, stock in the e-commerce company is up nearly nine percent in after hours trading, sitting at $283.50 as of writing.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seemed pleased with the results, noting that after five years, e-books are now a multi-billion dollar category and that the division continues to see rapid growth. Unsurprisingly, physical book sales are on the decline and for the second year in a row, the Kindle was their most popular item. Specifically, the Kindle Fire HD was the bestselling, most gifted and most wished-for product across their entire merchandise lineup.

When looking at the entire year, Amazon pulled in revenues of $61.09 billion compared to just $48.08 billion in 2011 – that’s good for a 27 percent increase. Moving forward, Amazon expects sales of $15 billion to 16.2 billion for the current quarter which would represent 14 percent to 26 percent growth compared to Q1 2012.

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