Amazon's (AMZN) Q4 EPS of $0.85 came in well ahead of consensus estimates of $0.72. Revenue of $9.52B exceeded analyst projections of $9.04B.
Shares fell more than 6% in early after-hour trading, but regained their composure and were up about 1% as of 4:30 ET.
Highlights from Amazon.com's Q4 earnings release:
Operating cash flow was $3.29 billion in 2009, compared with $1.70 billion in 2008. Free cash flow increased 114% to $2.92 billion in 2009, compared with $1.36 billion in 2008.
Net sales increased 42% to $9.52 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $6.70 billion in fourth quarter 2008. Excluding the $354 million favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales would have grown 37% compared with fourth quarter 2008.
Operating income increased 75% to $476 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $272 million in fourth quarter 2008. Excluding the $31 million favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, operating income would have grown 63% compared with fourth quarter 2008.
Net income increased 71% to $384 million in the fourth quarter, or $0.85 per diluted share, compared with net income of $225 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2008.
“Millions of people now own Kindles,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “And Kindle owners read, a lot. When we have both editions, we sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books. This is year-to-date and includes only paid books -- free Kindle books would make the number even higher. It’s been an exciting 27 months."
Separately, Amazon announced that its board authorized the company to repurchase up to $2B in stock. "The program allows the Company to opportunistically repurchase its shares from time to time when it believes that doing so would enhance long-term shareholder value. The repurchase authorization does not have a fixed expiration. Purchases may be effected through one or more open market transactions, privately negotiated transactions, transactions structured through investment banking institutions or a combination of the foregoing. This stock repurchase authorization replaces the previous $1B stock repurchase authorization, approved by the Board of Directors in 2008."