Amazon earnings fall short of expectations

Shares in online retail giant Amazon fell 10% on Friday after the company posted lower-than-expected fourth quarter earnings.

Amazon reported $25.6 billion in fourth quarter net sales, compared with $21.3 billion in fourth quarter 2012. But several analysts expected revenues of $26bn.

Net income increased to $239 million in the fourth quarter, or 51 cents per diluted share, compared with $97 million, in fourth quarter 2012. But, again, this fell short of the analyst consensus, which called for earnings of 66 cents per share.

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"As much as we continue to hope for a 4Q unit acceleration, AMZN continues to prove that its business is less holiday-driven than many other retailers due to the high volume of ‘staple’ and recurring unit sales," Susquehanna Financial analyst Brian Novak told Reuters.

But Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos failed to acknowledge the earnings miss in a statement. Instead, he said that now is a “good time to be an Amazon customer”.

“You can now read your Kindle gate-to-gate, get instant on-device tech support via our revolutionary Mayday button, and have packages delivered to your door even on Sundays,” Bezos continued.

Amazon expects net sales to reach between $18.2 billion and $19.9 billion for the first fiscal quarter of 2014, or a growth between 13% and 24%.




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