Shares of Amazon.com, the world's biggest e-retailer, plunged 12 percent in the first hour of trading, wiping out $9 billion in value, after the company reported disappointing third-quarter results.
The decline hit founding CEO Jeff Bezos in the wallet, lowering the value of his personal stake by about $2.2 billion. The Princeton-trained engineer, 47, owns 88.1 million shares, according to his latest filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
In recent trading, Amazon shares were at $201.43, down $25.72 from Tuesday's close. The plunge effectively lowered the Seattle-based company's market capitalization from about $103 billion to around $91.7 billion.
Amazon said current-quarter rollout of the Kindle Fire tablet could result in an operating loss as high as $200 million, although there could be profit as high as $200 million.
Analysts like Youseff Squali of Jefferies said the company may have taken in orders for as many as four million Kindle Fires as well as 12 million for regular Kindles.
The Kindle Fires are scheduled for first shipments next month. The new tablets will also offer thousands of streaming media shows and movies from the likes of CBS, Fox and Sony Pictures with Amazon Prime content.
Amazon reported third-quarter net income was only $63 million, or 14 cents a share, well below the 24 cents expected by analysts. Revenue jumped 44 percent to a record $10.9 billion.
In an investor call Tuesday night, CFO Thomas Szkutak explained Amazon was spending heavily to get the Kindle Fire into a tablet market dominated now by Apple but expected good results from customers who will use it to also order content. Apple holds about 75 percent of the tablet market, according to estimates from researchers IHSiSuppli.
We feel very good about growth going forward, he said, adding the company expects fourth-quarter revenue as high as a record $18.7 billion.
Apple shares traded around $396.22, down $1.55, from Tuesday. Since reporting disappointing fourth-quarter results last week, Apple shares have declined 6 percent.
Analysts like Squali advised investors to buy Amazon shares on any fallback because its aggressive investment strategy should pay off over time.