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UPDATE 1-Amazon posts higher-than-expected revenue, shares rise

(Adds details on quarter)

SAN FRANCISCO, April 24 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc reported higher-than-expected revenue growth in the first quarter and boosted its investments in technology, content and warehouses as the e-commerce giant branches out into new businesses.

The largest U.S. online retailer got a boost from strong sales of electronics and other items in North America. Revenue rose 23 percent to $19.74 billion, more than the average analyst estimate of $19.4 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Seattle-based company, which is also rapidly expanding its lineup of devices and computing services to sustain its pace of growth, reported earnings per share of 23 cents, in line with Wall Street expectations.

Amazon is now investing heavily on a wide range of projects, including developing original shows and video games, as its core retail business comes under pressure. International sales were a drag in the first quarter, growing only 18 percent.

Shares of Amazon rose 1.6 percent to $342.56 in after hours trading.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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