Amazon profits fall as Kindle sales surge

Amazon's fourth-quarter sales and outlook fall short of expectations, but Kindle sales surge over the holiday period

Amazon’s fourth quarter sales missed projections, but earnings were ahead. The big wild card was Kindle device sales, which tripled over the holidays.

The e-commerce giant reported earnings of $177 million (£112m) in the fourth quarter, or 38 cents a share, on revenue of $17.43 billion, up 35 percent from a year ago. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $18.25 billion.

How was Wall Street so mixed up? First, the Kindle Fire went on sale and analysts weren't sure what to expect in terms of margins.

Meanwhile, the outlook for the first quarter fell short of expectations. Amazon projected first quarter sales between $12 billion and $13.4 billion with a wide profit and loss range. Amazon projected an operating loss $200 million to a profit $100 million.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Amazon: Big Kindle sales, but sales and outlook fall short on

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