Amazon's revenue jumps, beats Street forecast

Despite the weak economy, the e-commerce giant reports an 18 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenues on strong holiday sales.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto

Amazon.com beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter revenue and earnings expectations, as the e-commerce giant posted strong holiday sales amid a weak economy.

Amazon's revenues jumped 18 percent to $6.7 billion for the quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. Wall Street had been expecting Amazon to generate sales of $6.4 billion for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company reported a 9 percent increase in net income to $225 million for the quarter, or 52 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting a net profit of 50 cents a share, excluding stock options expenses.

Amazon stock rose 7.5 percent to $53.75 a share in after-hours trading.

"We're particularly grateful for the unusually strong demand for Kindle in the fourth quarter," Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, said in a statement in reference to the company's electronic reader.

During the fourth quarter, Amazon reported an 18 percent increase in U.S. and Canadian sales, compared to the same time a year ago.

Worldwide sales of its electronics and general merchandise climbed 31 percent to $2.89 billion in the quarter, compared with its performance a year ago.