Online retailer Inc. recorded higher than expected results during the fourth quarter, as profit grew 8.7 percent.

Analysts attributed its earnings to shipping promotions and discounts that attracted consumers to its website. Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos cited unusually strong demand for its Kindle electronic book reader, according to Reuters.

Amazon posted a net income of $225 million or 52 cents per share in the last quarter of 2008, up from $207 million or 48 cents in the same period last year. Revenue increased 18 percent to $6.7 billion, the company said in a statement.

Analysts expected revenue of $6.45 billion, according to a Bloomberg poll.

Shares of Amazon closed down 36 cents, or 0.71 percent to $50.00 in New York trading on Thursday.