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Amazon Back In The Black soundly recovered from its $437 million year-ago loss by posting a $79 million profit in the third quarter.

Driving the return to profitability was a 23 percent increase in net sales, to $25.4 billion, for the three months ended Sept. 30, the e-tailer announced today. The sales results included a $1.3 billion hit from unfavorable foreign exchange rates, but a 78-percent boost from the company’s web services unit.

[Data curated by


In North America, net sales rose 28 percent to $15 billion, comprised of nearly $12 billion in electronics and other general merchandise, up 35 percent year over year, and just under $3 billion in media sales, which rose 8 percent.

In a typically non-finance-related statement accompanying the earnings announcement, founder/CEO Jeff Bezos pointed to the company’s new $50 Fire tablet ($41.67 if purchased in a six-pack), which he described as the No. 1 best-selling product on the site since its launch last month — prompting the manufacture of millions more above plan.

“This is one more step in our mission to bring customers premium products at non-premium prices,” he said.

Looking ahead, Amazon is projecting fourth-quarter sales to grow between 14 percent and 25 percent.