Amazon's Q4 Earnings Show Skyrocketing Sales, But Slimmer Profits
Net income decreased 45% to $97 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $177 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2011. Why the drop? The CEO had a few words.
"We're now seeing the transition we've been expecting," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. "After 5 years, eBooks is a multi-billion dollar category for us and growing fast - up approximately 70% last year. In contrast, our physical book sales experienced the lowest December growth rate in our 17 years as a book seller, up just 5%. We're excited and very grateful to our customers for their response to Kindle and our ever expanding ecosystem and selection."
As for other quarterly highlights? Well, for starters, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD continued its run as the #1 best-selling, most gifted, and most wished for product across the millions of items available on Amazon worldwide. The company also announced the launch of AutoRip, a new service that gives customers free MP3 versions of CDs they purchase from Amazon. Amazon.com announced new licensing agreements with Turner Broadcasting, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, and A+E Networks, for popular television series including Falling Skies, The Closer, Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, and Dance Moms, expanding its catalog of title offerings for Prime Instant Video to more than 36,000 movies and television episodes.
The company still isn't coming clean with exact sales figures on the Kindle line, but after witnessing the raking over the coals that Apple has dealt with in recent weeks due to flagging sales of Mac and iPod products, we certainly can't blame them.