Wall Street was looking for Amazon (AMZN) to post a pre-charge loss of 57 cents a share, according to the estimate compiled by Zacks Investment Research.Perhaps more importantly, any doubts about whether Amazon.com could leverage its well-known brand and large customer base to sell other products than books may have been dispelled as the company reported it sold $14.4 million in CDs during the quarter, more than either CDnow (CDNW) or N2K (NTKI), which agreed earlier this month to merge.
CDnow reported third-quarter sales of $13.9 million, while N2K had $10.5 million.
"We are very grateful to our customers for choosing Amazon.com as their online music store so quickly," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and chief executive officer.
Customer accounts grew to 4.5 million at the end of the quarter, a gain of about 1.2 million from the previous quarter. Repeat business accounted for 64 percent of sales.
Once again, however, Bezos added that the company's growth strategies "will continue to require aggressive investment and entail significant execution challenges." That's nearly identical to language given in the company's press release for its second-quarter results.
In the quarter, the company launched its book sites in Germany and the United Kingdom and bought two Web companies, PlanetAll and Junglee, designed to "speed Amazon.com's enhancement of the e-commerce experience for its customers," according to the release.
The company recently registered more than 2.6 million shares doled out in its recent acquisitions with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Those shares can now be sold by the holders.
Including $20.5 million in acquisition-related charges, the company lost 90 cents a share for the quarter.
Amazon has about $340.4 in long-term debt on its balance sheet, about 1.9 times its stockholder's equity and 0.5 times its asset.
Ahead of the report, Amazon shares rose 3/4 to 117 1/6, much closer to its 52-week high of 147 than its 52-week low of 22.
Written By Darren Chervitz