Seattle - Explosive demand for its Kindle e-book reader and an 80 percent spike in North American CE segment sales led to double-digit sales and earnings growth during Amazon.com's third quarter.
Net sales increased 39 percent to $7.6 billion, and profits rose 16 percent to $231 million for the three months, ended Sept. 30. Excluding the unfavorable impact of foreign currency fluctuations, sales would have grown 40 percent, the company said.
Nevertheless, Amazon shares traded lower this morning on a weaker-than-expected forecast for operating income in the fourth quarter, which will be impacted by capital investment in new warehouses and higher marketing expenses, include TV commercials for Kindle.
The company said its latest-generation Kindles remain the bestselling products on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, with customers ordering more of the new devices on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk than any other product in the 12 weeks following the introduction of the updated models.
Within its North American segment, which includes the company's U.S. and Canadian sites, revenue rose 45 percent to $4.1 billion, led by an 80 percent increase in sales of CE and other general merchandise to $2.3 billion. Sales of media rose 13 percent to $1.6 billion, and operating income increased 19 percent to $186 million.
In a statement, founder/CEO Jeff Bezos promised continued operational improvements this holiday season that will result in "the best prices, the biggest selection, the highest in-stock, and the fastest delivery in our history."