Amazon has announced its fourth quarter financial results that ended 31 December 2012.
Despite not meeting analysts estimates of $22.3 billion in sales, Amazon’s revenue increased 22% to $21.27 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $17.43 billion in fourth quarter 2011.
Net income decreased 45% to $97 million in the fourth quarter, or $0.21 per diluted share, compared with $177 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2011.
For the second year in a row Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD tablet was the most popular item for customers worldwide.
Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos says of the results that “We’re now seeing the transition we’ve been expecting. 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.”
For the first quarter 2013, the e-commerce giant is projecting net sales to fall between $15 billion and $16.6 billion, representing growth of 14% to 26%.
Amazon also recently launched AutoRip, a service that gives customers free MP3 versions of CDs purchased on the site.