Amazon.com's Holiday Surprise

Rob Hof

No, I don't mean Amazon's fourth-quarter net profit, which fell 50% (largely on its having to pay taxes compared with a tax benefit from a year ago)--though it did top analysts' estimates. A couple of other metrics stand out to me, at least: Sales were up 35%, and even excluding a foreign exchange-rate bonus, they were up 30%. That easily outpaces e-commerce overall, which was about 25%.

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