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Amazon Reverses Downward Spiral

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Amazon has turned around a two-year slump, saying that first-quarter profits more than doubled from a year ago to $111 million, or 26 cents per share, thanks to healthy electronics and apparel sales. Analysts had forecast a profit of 15 cents per share. The Seattle-based company also predicted rosy sales growth of up to 31 percent to $14 billion for the year, even though many brick-and-mortar retailers have predicted an upcoming sales slowdown because of rising gas prices and a sagging housing market.

By significantly besting profits of $51 million, or 12 cents per share, from the same period last year, Amazon ended a string of eight consecutive quarters in which the company’s profits had declined from the previous year.Amazon’s earnings news, which came after the markets closed, sent its shares soaring more than 12 percent in after-hours trading to touch $50.30, a new 52-week high on the Nasdaq Stock Market. “It was a great quarter. Things have been on the uptick,” said Dan Geiman, a retail analyst with Seattle-based McAdams Wright Ragen. “After being in the doldrums for a while, they are making a comeback.”

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