Amazon's 2nd quarter beats expectations

The e-commerce giant rides a wave of interest in its Kindle 3G with Special Offers, and also ups its outlook for the third quarter.

Amazon earnings

Amazon cruised by estimates with better-than-expected second-quarter results as the company said that demand for its Kindle 3G with Special Offers has been surging.

The company also raised it outlook for the third quarter.

Amazon reported second-quarter earnings of $191 million, or 41 cents a share, on revenue of $9.91 billion, up 51 percent from a year ago. Excluding a foreign exchange gain, sales would have been up 44 percent.

Wall Street was expecting earnings of 35 cents a share on revenue of $9.38 billion.

As for the outlook, Amazon projected third-quarter sales of between $10.3 billion and $11.1 billion, up 36 percent to 47 percent from a year ago. Operating income will be between $20 million and $170 million, a wide range that reflects a hefty decline from a year ago.

Amazon has maintained that it is investing for future growth.

Shares surged in after-hours trading:

Amazon shares  jump on earnings report
Screenshot via ZDNet

By the numbers for the second quarter:

• The Kindle store has 950,000 books, with 800,000 at less than $9.99.

• North America sales were $5.41 billion, up 51 percent from a year ago.

• International sales were $4.51 billion, up 51 percent from a year ago.

• Media sales were $3.66 billion, up 27 percent from a year ago.

• Electronics and other general merchandise revenue was $5.89 billion, up 69 percent from a year ago.

• Technology and content costs were $698 million, up from $408 million a year ago.

• Amazon's "other" revenue line, which includes Amazon Web Services, was $359 million, up from $203 million a year ago.

• The company ended the quarter with $2 billion in cash and equivalents.

• The company ended the quarter with 43,200 employees.

This story was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines blog as "Amazon delivers strong Q4, ups revenue outlook."

About the author

    Larry Dignan is editor in chief of ZDNet and editorial director of CNET's TechRepublic. He has covered the technology and financial-services industries since 1995.

     

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