Apr. 24, 2008
After the markets closed yesterday, online book seller Amazon.com said its first-quarter profit
grew 29.1 percent, helped by strong sales in the U.S. and overseas. The numbers are higher than what
Wall Street analysts had expected.
Overall, Amazon's quarterly earnings climbed to $143 million, or 34 cents per share, from $111
million, or 26 cents per share, in the 2007 corresponding period.
However, lower operating income guidance for the full fiscal year also helped pushed shares down
$4.33, or 5.4 percent, to $76.67 in after-hours trading. Amazon's stock had closed up $1.40 at $81 in
normal-day trading today.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had forecast a profit of about 31 to 32 cents per share.
The book seller's revenue increased 37 percent to $4.14 billion from $3.02 billion for 2007's
1st quarter. Sales in North America grew a little over 30.92 percent to $2.13 billion from a year
Overall, international sales rose about 44 percent to $2.01 billion, and accounted for less than
50 percent of total revenue, up from 46 percent for 2007.
For the year, Amazon.com forecast $19.1 billion to $20.0 billion in revenue, close to Wall Street's
current estimate of $19.29 billion.
The online retailer said it expects sales between $3.86 billion and $4.08 billion for the current
quarter. Analysts are looking for $3.84 billion, so it will be interesting to see how high the
numbers will come out for the second quarter.
In a conference call late today, Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak explained that some numbers
were depressed by stock option expenses and various costs associated with the acquisition of audio
book company Audible.com.
Szkutak was quick to point out that the numbers didn't reflect expected changes in company
In January, Amazon's operating income guidance for 2008 - $740 million to $940 million - came in about
$45 million lower on both ends than the company's forecast.
This article was featured on Business 5.0.
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