Amazon shares miss forecast, fall

Value declines despite strong results in Q4



SEATTLE — shares sank in after-hours trading after the online retail giant reported strong fourth-quarter results that nevertheless fell short of analysts’ expectations.

For the fourth quarter, Amazon reported a net profit of $239 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, up 146 percent, on $25.6 billion in sales, up 20 percent from the year-ago period. While Amazon’s revenue was in line with expectations, analysts had been expecting net profit of 71 cents a share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Shareholders had pushed Amazon stock up nearly 5 percent during the day’s trading to $403.01 in anticipation of the earnings report, as analysts projected the company’s earnings expansion.

Nearly an hour after releasing the results, Amazon’s share traded at $369.10, down 8.4 percent.

Three months ago, the company had projected sales between $23.5 billion and $26.5 billion, representing a 10 percent to 25 percent increase for the quarter.

The company also estimated that it would report somewhere between a $500 million operating loss and a $500 million operating profit for the quarter, compared with $405 million in operating profits for the fourth quarter 2012. The company posted a $510 million operating profit, up 26 percent.