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Amazon posts lower 4Q net income but stock jumps

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013

Amazon's operating income jumped 56 percent to $405 million from $260 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. That's much better than the company's guidance, which was for an operating loss of $490 million to an operating income of $310 million.

For the current quarter, Amazon expects revenue of $15 billion to $16.6 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $16.86 billion.

For all of 2012, the company booked a net loss of $39 million, or 9 cents per share, down from a profit of $631 million, or $1.37 per share. The shortfall was due to a 60 cent per share loss in the third quarter of the year, which resulted from a charge related to its stake in online deals site LivingSocial. The company said it was also due to heavy spending on its Kindle business, new geographic locations and video content. It also said it hired about 50,000 temporary workers at its distribution centers across the U.S. during the holiday season.

Revenue in 2012 grew 27 percent to $61.09 billion from $48.08 billion, slightly below analysts' expectations of $62.1 billion.

Few large corporations are able to grow revenue at such a pace year after year. Apple Inc., the world's most valuable public company, is a notable example. The iPad maker increased revenue by 29 percent in 2012, to $165 billion. Still, investors punished Apple's stock after it reported earnings last week, due to signs that the company's profit margin is shrinking and its iPhone faces stiffer competition in overseas markets.

Seattle-based Amazon's shares rose $24, or 9.2 percent, to $284.35 in after-hours trading. The stock had closed down $15.69, or 5.7 percent, at $260.35.