Amazon.com holiday sales miss mark, stock takes a hit

Amazon.com’s net sales climbed 35 percent during the fourth quarter, reaching $17.43 billion, according to financial results just released by the Seattle company. However, that was below the $18.2 billion Wall Street was expecting, and the company’s shares are down more than 8 percent in after-hours trading.

Sales of Kindle devices, including e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets, rose by 177 percent during the nine-week holiday period, the company said — continuing its tradition of not providing specific figures for sales of its flagship devices.

The company posted net income of $177 million, down 58 percent, to 38 cents a share — but that was actually better than the earnings of 19 cents per share that Wall Street was expecting.

Amazon is selling the Kindle Fire for $199, which is believed to be at or below its cost, in hopes of making up the difference through increased sales of media and Amazon Prime subscriptions.

The company said videos purchased or rented through Amazon Instant video more than doubled in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period a year ago, as did Amazon Instant video customers. Videos streamed by Prime subscribers rose nearly 300 percent compared to the third quarter, the company said.

Meanwhile, the company says Amazon Appstore for Android customers almost tripled during the fourth quarter, compared with the third quarter, another sign of the Kindle Fire’s impact.

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Amazon on a blowout quarter!

  • guest

    Kindle fire is not being sold below cost, and you can prove it to yourself in one minute. Just google 7 inch tablet China and you will find dozens of android tablet models with specs similar to the Fire selling for under $100. And these companies are not making millions of units like amazon.