Amazon sales fall short despite e-book surge

The online retailer reports strong sales for the last quarter of 2010 but falls short of analyst expectations, as e-books overtake paperbacks as the most popular format on its website

Amazon has reported a fourth-quarter profit that exceeded Wall Street's estimates but fell short in revenue.

Amazon Kindle e-book e-reader

Amazon's fourth-quarter profits execeeded estimates as e-books sales outstripped paperback sales on its website.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported net income of $416m (£216m), or 91 cents per share, an increase from the 85 cents reported for the same quarter a year earlier. Wall Street analysts had been expecting 88 cents. Sales were up 36 percent from last year, coming in at $12.95bn, but missed analysts' estimate of $13bn.

For the year, the company reported net income of $1.15bn, or $2.53 per share, on sales of $34.2bn, a 40 percent jump over 2009. "Thanks to our customers, we achieved two big milestones," said founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos in a statement. "We had our first $10bn quarter, and, after selling millions of third-generation Kindles with the new Pearl e-ink display during the quarter, Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on"

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Amazon earnings: Shares tumble as holiday sales fall short on

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