net sales jump 29 percent fell a penny per share short of analyst earning expectations, while reporting net sales of US$1.46 billion for its third fiscal quarter of 2004, which ended September 30.

The sales results were up 29 percent from the year-ago third-quarter total of US$1.13 billion. Pro forma earnings per share for the online retailer were US$0.17 per share, one cent shy of the US$0.18 per share pro forma results analysts had been expecting, according to Thomson First Call. Net income was US$54 million in the third quarter, or US$0.13 per diluted share, compared with net income of US$16 million, or US$0.04 per diluted share, in third quarter 2003.

Customer adoption of Amazon's free shipping hit a record level during the quarter, the company said in a statement.

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