Amazon Says Prime And 'Transparent' Are Behind Strong Earnings

Amazon Inc. reported much stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings late Tuesday, propelling the company's stock more than 7% higher in after-hours trade. The e-commerce giant reported net income of $214 million, or 45 cents a share, compared with $239 million, or 51 cents, in the year-earlier period, significantly outdistancing the FactSet consensus estimate of 19 cents. Revenue grew 15% to $29.33 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $29.6 billion. Amazon said revenue would have grown by 18% if not for the unfavorable impact of exchange rates. The company attributed much of its gains to Prime, which it raised the price on in 2014. It also scored its first Academy Award nominations for the original show "Transparent." Prime paid membership grew 53% last year. Amazon is anticipating sales growth of between 6% and 16% in the first quarter, which would imply sales of between $20.9 billion and $22.9 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $23 billion.

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