Amazon Trims Losses on Higher Sales

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Amazon.com yesterday reported a net loss of $23 million, or 6 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2002, compared with a net loss of $234 million, or 66 cents per share, for the same quarter a year ago.


Wall Street reportedly expected the online retailer to lose 7 to 12 cents per share.


Net sales for first-quarter 2002, which ended March 21, were $847 million, up 21 percent from $700 million in the same quarter in 2001. Amazon reported that it also lowered costs.


The company also reported a first-quarter operating profit of $2 million, reportedly a first for the company in a seasonally slow first quarter.


In the fourth quarter, Amazon.com, Seattle, reported its first profit, on both pro forma and generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, basis.


That wasn't expected to be the case for the latest quarter, which didn't have the benefit of holiday purchases.


Also yesterday, Amazon said it has lowered prices on some books. The company now offers a 30 percent discount on books over $15. The company previously offered that discount on books over $20.


Amazon predicted that net sales for the second quarter will be $765 million to $815 million, or grow 15 percent to 22 percent.


The company announced its first-quarter financial results after the market closed.


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