Seattle-based online retailer Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) beat analysts’ estimates with a 24 percent rise in revenue, to $17.1 billion -- higher than analysts’ forecast of $16.8 billion -- and also significantly narrowed its loss to $41 million from $274 million in the same quarter last year.
Earnings fell 9 cents, like analysts expected, as CEO Jeff Bezos has traded short-term gains to achieve long-term goals: broaden the company’s delivery network, cloud computing services and its line of e-readers and tablets. For example, Amazon -- the world’s largest online retailer -- added 8 million square feet of fulfillment center capacity. Fulfillment centers hold stock owned by registered online vendors and completes orders as they come in, a key business for the company.
Amazon.com online traffic rose significantly, with net online sales growing 24 percent to $17.09 billion. Online spending has been bullish this year, up more than 18 percent in the second quarter, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The news encouraged investors, at least initially, as Amazon’s stock in after-market trading surged 8 percent to about $359. It had closed Thursday up only 1.67 percent.