Amazon's profit soars, but revenue disappoints

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NEW YORK (AP) - Amazon reported another quarter of record profit Thursday, fueled by the growth of online shopping and its cloud-computing service.

But its revenue grew less than Wall Street analysts expected, and Amazon's shares slipped in after-hours trading.

The company, which is based in Seattle, has grown its profitability as it expands far beyond online shopping. For years, the company posted razor-thin quarterly profits, spending most of what it earned on building warehouses and making other investments. But that's changed as its Amazon's Web Services unit - which provides cloud computing services to companies and government -has become a major money maker for Amazon.

On Thursday, Amazon posted third-quarter profit of $2.88 billion, its fourth straight quarter profit above $1 billion. A year ago, it reported profit of just $256 million.

On a per-share basis, it reported earnings of $5.75, beating the $3.29 per share analyst expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose 29 percent to $56.58 billion, but that was below the $57.05 billion analysts expected.

Earlier this month, Amazon said it would pay all its U.S. workers at least $15 an hour starting Nov. 1. On Thursday, during a conference call with reporters, Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky declined to say how much the wage increase will cost the company.

For the current quarter, which includes the busy holiday shopping season, Amazon said it expects revenue in the range of $66.5 billion to $72.5 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $73.87 billion.

Shares of Amazon.com Inc., up 52 percent so far this year, fell 8 percent to $1,641 in extended trading Thursday.

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Contact Joseph Pisani at http://twitter.com/josephpisani

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