Amazon shares jump after earnings surprise

By Blake Ellis, contributing writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Shares of Amazon.com jumped in after-hours trading Thursday after the online retailer easily topped Wall Street's expectations during the fourth-quarter holiday shopping season.

Net income for the three months ending Dec. 31 jumped 71% to $384 million, or 85 cents per share. Revenue rose 42% to $9.5 billion from a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 72 cents a share on sales of $9 billion.

As part of the earnings release, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos highlighted the success of his company's Kindle electronic reader. "Millions of people now own Kindles," he said in a prepared statement. "We sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books."

Looking ahead, Amazon forecast first-quarter sales between $6.45 billion and $7 billion, which is well above analysts' expectations of $6.36 billion.

Amazon.com (AMZN, Fortune 500) shares rose 2% after the closing bell after adding $3.28 to end at $126.03 in regular trade. To top of page

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