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Amazon stock falls after reporting a loss bigger than expected

October 25, 2012|By Laura J. Nelson

Amazon.com Inc. widely missed Wall Street expectations in reporting a third-quarter loss of $274 million, sending its stock down in after-hours trading.

The world's largest online retailer also forecasted fourth-quarter results that could range from a $490 million loss to a $310 million profit.

Amazon's net loss, amounting to 60 cents a share, was much lower than the 8 cents a share that analysts in a Thomson Reuters survey had anticipated. For last year's third quarter, Amazon earned $63 million, or 14 cents a share, and sales were $9.4 billion.

Quarterly sales for the world's largest online retailer rose 27% to $13.8 billion from $10.9 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $13.9 billion.

The Seattle e-commerce company attributed some of the loss to its partial ownership of online deals website Living Social, which cost the company 37 cents a share. Even without the charge, Amazon would have lost 23 cents a share.

Amazon continues to expand its offerings to include hardware such as the Kindle, which competes with Apple's iPad and the Google's Nexus tablet. Last month, the company revealed a new line of Kindle e-readers and tablets, which range in price from the $69 basic reader to the $599 Kindle Fire HD.

"Our approach is to work hard to charge less," founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said. "Sell devices near break even and you can pack a lot of sophisticated hardware into a very low price point."

Shares fell $5.57, or 2.4%, to close at $222.92 before the company released its results. In after-hours trading, shares fell as much as $2.48 more.

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