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Amazon’s holiday sales numbers disappointed investors

But the online retailer was profitable for a seventh straight quarter.

Jeff Bezos being interviewed by Walt Mossberg at the 2016 Code Conference
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference
Asa Mathat

Amazon posted lower-than-anticipated revenue in the holiday fourth quarter and announced disappointing first-quarter guidance, sending its stock down 4 percent in after-hours trading.

The giant online retailer’s fourth-quarter revenue came in about $1 billion lower than analyst estimates, at $43.7 billion. Amazon also announced first-quarter guidance on revenue and operating income that came in below estimates.

In a call with reporters, Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky called out a negative, and unexpected, foreign exchange rate impact. It resulted in a swing of about $800 million in revenue off of what Amazon was expecting for the quarter, he said.

Amazon did beat analyst expectations on profits with earnings of $1.54 a share versus estimates of $1.37. That makes it seven straight quarters of profits for the company that once carried the stigma of not being able to make money.


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