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April 24, 2007

Amazon's solid first quarter

Posted by Kim Peterson at 1:15 PM

Amazon beat analysts' expectations and its own forecast for the first quarter. The company announced today sales of $3.02 billion, up from $2.28 billion for the same period a year ago.

Analysts had been expecting sales of $2.9 billion for the quarter. In February, Amazon said it expected first-quarter sales of between $2.85 billion and $3 billion.

The company reported a $111 million profit, or 26 cents a share. That's up from $51 million, or 12 cents a share, in Q1 2006. Taxes made a big difference: the company's tax rate in the 2007 quarter was 23 percent compared with 47 percent in Q1 2006.

The quarter was solid enough for Amazon to raise its earnings expectations for the full year.

Back in February, the company said full-year sales would be between $13 billion and $13.7 billion. Now, it's looking for sales to be between $13.4 billion and $14 billion.

Amazon upped its operating income forecast to between $463 million and $593 million for 2007. The old forecast was between $355 million and $505 million.

Update: The company's stock is soaring in after-hours trading -- currently up $4 from its close of $44.75.

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