Amazon Q3 Sales Up, Losses Narrower Than Forecast

Amazon.com Tuesday reported a third quarter loss of 25 cents per share, handily beating the 33 cent per share consensus estimate of 29 analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial.

Amazon reported a pro forma operating loss for the quarter ending Sept. 30 of $US68 million compared with a loss of $US78 million in the third quarter of 1999. The 25 cent loss for the quarter was one one cent better than the 26 cent per share loss posted for the same quarter last year.

The Internet company that sells just about everything moved plenty of merchandise in the third quarter with $US638 million in sales for the period. The sales figure significantly edged out, by 79 percent, last year's third quarter total sales of $US356 million. The vendor also said the quarter's 26 percent gross margin outperformed the 20 percent gross margins of one year earlier.

Amazon said its Electronics store grew during the quarter to surpass the Music segment and now stands as the company's second largest revenue generator in the U.S. The Books market still leads overall sales for the Seattle, Washington-based company.

"This was a strong quarter for Amazon.com; we are driving toward profitability, and we surpassed our key internal operational and financial objectives," said Warren Jenson, chief financial officer at Amazon, in a statement.

Amazon also said international sales grew 121 percent for the quarter to reach $US88 million. The company added 800,000 international customers, mostly in Europe.

The company said it expects sales for the fourth quarter between $US950 million and $US1.05 billion.

Amazon.com, in Seattle, Washington, can be found on the Web at http://www.amazon.com/.

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