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Amazon Earnings Miss View, but Firm Raises Outlook

Amazon.com posted earnings that disappointed analyst views Tuesday, but raised its revenue guidance for the current quarter.

Amazon.com's fulfillment center in Fernley, Nevada.
Ben Margot
Amazon.com's fulfillment center in Fernley, Nevada.

The online retail giant reported first-quarter earnings of $201 million, or 44 cents a share. Amazon earned $299 million, or 66 cents a share, during the same period a year earlier.

Sales for the most recent quarter rose 38 percent to $9.86 billion, up from $7.13 billion last year.

The company was seen earning 61 cents a share on revenue of $9.53 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Amazon also said it expects to hand in a revenue of $8.85 billion to $9.6 billion in the current quarter. Earlier consensus was $8.74 billion according to estimates from Thomson Reuters.

Shares of Amazon recovered to trade slightly higher after initially tumbling 5 percent in extended trading Tuesday. Get after-hour quotes for Amazon.com.

The shares closed at $182.30 in the regular trading session. Volume exceeded 6.4 million shares before the closing bell.

"Really, it's a story of revenues being much stronger than we were expecting but expenses coming in heavier than anticipated," said Ken Sena, analyst at Evercore Partners. "The concern that people had, that they were going to spend more than the Street was expecting, happened."

"But when you look at the kind of growth acceleration they are showing on the top line and surpassing pretty much all Street expectations, I think that clearly what they are doing makes sense," he continued. "So we continue to be "outperform" on the stock and think the stock is going to work well. But it is requiring a little bit of patience."