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Amazon's Q3 Sales, Profits Soar

10/23/2009 09:56:57 AM Eastern

Seattle - Amazon.com's
third-quarter sales surged 28 percent to $5.5 billion while profits soared 68
percent to $199 million for the three months ended Sept. 30.

In the U.S. and Canada, net sales grew 23 percent to $2.8 billion
and operating income rocketed 77 percent to $156 million for the period.

Sales of CE, computers and other general merchandise rose 36
percent to $1.3 billion in the U.S. and Canada, while sales of books, movies,
music, video games and consoles, and all digital downloads increased 13 percent
to $1.4 billion.

Sales figures include revenue from Amazon.com inventory plus
commissions from third-party sellers.

In a statement, CEO and founder Jeff Bezos cited the success of
Amazon's Kindle e-book reader, which has become the company's best-selling item
in both unit and dollar sales.

The latest iteration, an International Kindle that uses
AT&T's 3G platform to provide wireless connectivity in over 100 countries,
began shipping this week following a $20 price cut to $259.

The strength of Amazon's financial results surprised Wall Street,
which rewarded the stock with a nearly 20-percent gain in early trading this
morning.

Looking ahead to the holiday quarter, the company is projecting earnings
to grow between 10 percent to 56 percent on sales growth of between 21 percent and
36 percent.