Amazon.com is selling more e-books than paperback books, the company announced last week.
The world’s largest online retailer released mixed fourth-quarter financial results showing net income for the most recently completed quarter was up 8 percent, ahead of Wall Street predictions. Revenue was under expectations, which cause the company’s stock to drop almost 10 percent in extended trading.
The results were a sign that although the recession is ending, people remain cautious about how they spend their money. One popular choice is e-books. Amazon said it sold “millions” of the latest model of its Kindle e-reader in the fourth quarter, surpassing a Harry Potter book title as the site’s most popular item ever.
“Last July, we announced that Kindle books had passed hardcover’s and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a release. “So this milestone has come even sooner than we expected — and it’s on top of continued growth in paperback sales.”
Since the start of the year, Amazon said it has sold 115 Kindle books for every 100 paperbacks. Kindle e-books are three times bigger than hardcover sales.
Net income was up 8 percent to $416 million, or 91 cent for every share, above the 88 cents per share estimated by analysts. Net income for the same quarter a year ago was $834 million.
On Friday, shares of Amazon.com fell more than $17 to $166.33 in late trading after the quarterly results were posted, but has pared some losses to trade at $170 by mid-day.