While the iPad may mean competition for the Kindle, Amazon’s iconic device isn’t dead yet. Amazon.com released its fourth-quarter earnings yesterday, and things are looking good for the online retailer, thanks in no small part to its dedicated eReader and strong holiday sales across the board.
Fourth-quarter earnings rose 71 percent year-over-year on a strong holiday season. Amazon reported profit of $384 million, or 85 cents a share, compared to $225 million, or 52 cents a share, for the same period the previous year. Sales rose 42 percent to $9.52 billion.
The company’s cash flow grew 114 percent year-over-year to $2.92 billion in the fourth quarter. Worldwide revenue grew 42 percent to $9.52 billion or 37 percent excluding the $354 million favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates.
While the company continued its policy of not releasing Kindle sales, CEO Jeff Bezos did say “millions” of people now enjoy the Kindle. Bezos also added that Amazon currently sells six eBooks for every 10 printed copies it sells.
In a conference call with analysts, Thomas Szkutak, Amazon’s CFO, at least touched on how the company feels it is positioned on the hardware side of the eReader game.
“We think we are focused on the customer and I think Kindle is certainly a good example of that. We think we’ve built a very nice purpose-built device – excuse me, that is purpose-built for reading and we believe that readers deserve to have a dedicated device with great selection and great prices,” Szkutak was quoted as a saying in a transcript courtesy of Seeking Alpha.
Amazon’s stock was up 2.2 percent from yesterday’s close to $128.21 in early morning trading.