Amazon's Jeff Bezos: "We Had Our First $10 Billion Quarter"

Amazon just released results for its for its fourth quarter ending December 31, 2010. The company’s sales came in at $12.95 billion, which is up 36 percent from $9.52 billion in fourth quarter 2009. Net income increased 8 percent to $416 million in the fourth quarter, or $0.91 per diluted share, compared with net income of $384 million, or $0.85 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2009. Analysts expected $0.88 per share on revenue of $13 billion, which is short of the quarter’s sales of $12.95 billion.

Founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos said in a statement: We had our first $10 billion quarter, and after selling millions of third-generation Kindles with the new Pearl e-ink display during the quarter, Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Last July we announced that Kindle books had passed hardcovers and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year, so this milestone has come even sooner than we expected – and it’s on top of continued growth in paperback sales.

As usual Bezos and Amazon remain coy about the actual number of Kindles sold but refers to sales in the millions of third-generation kindles. And for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the Company has sold 115 Kindle books; and the company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books. Additionally, the U.S. Kindle store now has more than 810,000 books.

Amazon’s North America sales, were $7.21 billion, up 45% from fourth quarter 2009. International sales, which include Amazon’s U.K., German, Japanese, French, Chinese and Italian sites, were $5.74 billion, up 26% from fourth quarter 2009. Worldwide Electronics & Other General Merchandise sales grew 60% to $7.39 billion.

For the full year, net sales increased 40% to $34.20 billion, compared with $24.51 billion in 2009. Net income increased 28% to $1.15 billion in 2010, or $2.53 per diluted share, compared with net income of $902 million, or $2.04 per diluted share, in 2009.