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Tech Industry loss smaller than expected (Nasdaq: BNBN) topped estimates Thursday with a smaller-than-expected loss of $21.9 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $49.1 million.

First Call consensus expected a loss of 23 cents a share.

Sales for the quarter ending Sept. 30 were up 215 percent from $15.6 million in the same quarter a year ago. In the third quarter a year ago, lost $18.6 million, or 16 cents a share.

The company, which competes with (Nasdaq: AMZN) on the book front, said it gained 581,000 new customers during the third quarter. Total customers accounts are 2.9 million as of Sept. 30.

Although pared its losses, Amazon officials hinted on their third quarter earnings conference call that its U.S. bookselling business may be profitable in the fourth quarter and beyond. added that repeat customer orders increased to 63 percent in the third quarter, compared with 60 in the second quarter.

Jonathan Bulkeley, CEO of the company, said in a statement that he was pleased with the results, which show the company is gaining momentum.

In September, was the fourth largest e-commerce site according to Media Metrix.

Unlike Amazon, has taken a more measured approach to conquering new categories. hasn't strayed far from its core book business, adding music and most recently a prints and poster gallery and a greeting card service.