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Amazon's Q1 2012 earnings: net sales at $13.18 billion

Written By Mark Antalusya on April 26, 2012 | 11:23 PM

It's no Apple-sized quarter, but you'd need to be on HGTV's Million Dollar Rooms a handful of times over to scoff at Amazon's Q1 2012 earnings. After reporting $177 million in net earnings last quarter (on $17.43 billion in revenue), the online sales behemoth has today registered $13.18 billion in net sales -- proudly reporting that said tally was up from the $9.86 billion in its Q1 a year ago. 

Excluding the $56 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales would have grown 34 percent compared with first quarter 2011. As for operating income? That checked in at $192 million (compared to $322 million Q1 2011), with the outfit noting that the "unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter on operating income was $4 million." Net income also sank 35 percent from $201 million a year ago, but it still left Amazon with $130 million more in the bank than it had just three months ago.

It's important to note that the outfit didn't have "the holidays" here to help out, but it's still a bit worrisome to investors when profit margin shrinks. Focusing on more positive things, CEO Jeff Bezos noted that Amazon has "over 130,000 new, in-copyright books that are exclusive to the Kindle Store," again reminding the world that Amazon Prime members can "borrow them for free with no due dates.

" We're also told that the Kindle Fire remains the top, most gifted and most wished for product across its entire store, while pointing out that the North American sales segment was up 36 percent from Q1 2011 (reaching $7.43 billion). Our overseas comrades -- specifically, Amazon's UK, German, Japanese, French, Chinese, Italian and Spanish sites -- accounted for $5.76 billion in sales, up 31 percent year-over-year. Worldwide media sales saw a 19 percent uptick to $4.71 billion, while global electronics and "other merchandise" saw sales grow a whopping 43 percent to $7.97 billion. Notably, the company continually banged on unfavorable exchange rates, so if you're looking for a place to heap blame... well, there you go.

Looking ahead to the company's Q2, we're told that net sales are expected to remain flat or dip slightly compared to this quarter, with totals to hover between $11.9 billion and $13.3 billion. Though, that would represent a 20 to 34 percent increase compared with second quarter 2011. Unfortunately, Amazon's actually forecasting an operating loss between $260 million and $40 million compared to Q2 2011, and we're told that this "guidance includes approximately $260 million for stock-based compensation and amortization of intangible assets, and it assumes, among other things, that no additional business acquisitions or investments are concluded and that there are no further revisions to stock-based compensation estimates." Cue the sad trombone?

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