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Amazon.Com (AMZN) 4Q Profits Drop Amid Double-Digit Sales Growth; Shares Rise

 January 29, 2013 04:27 PM
 


(By Balaseshan) Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) posted a drop in quarterly earnings as jump in expenses offset double-digit sales growth and the online retail giant guided first-quarter below consensus. Shares climbed 7.35 percent in extended trading on Tuesday.

Profit decreased 45% to $97 million for the fourth quarter. Earnings per share (EPS) fell to $0.21 from $0.38 in the year-ago quarter, missing analysts' expectations of $0.29.

The latest quarter results included a $194 million provision for income taxes and $46 million equity-method investment activity expenses.

Sales soared 22 percent to $21.27 billion, yet fell slightly shy of market expectations of a 27.7 percent growth for the fourth quarter. Excluding the $178 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales grew 23 percent.

[Related -Level Watching and Swing Trade Planning for Amazon (AMZN)]

Operating expenses jumped 21.5 percent to $20.86 billion.

Sales at the company's North America segment surged 23 percent, and International segment sales soared 20.8 percent. Worldwide media sales advanced 8.4 percent and electronics and other general merchandise sales climbed 27.7 percent.

Looking ahead for the first quarter, the company guided sales between $15.0 billion and $16.6 billion, while analysts expect $16.86 billion. The forecast represents a growth between 14 percent and 26 percent from the year-ago period. Operating results is expected to be between a loss of $285 million and a profit of $65 million.

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The stock, which has been trading between $172.00 and $284.72 over the past year, ended Tuesday's regular session down 5.68% at $260.35.

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