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Amazon income falls on higher costs

NEW YORK — Amazon.com says its fourth-quarter net income fell 45 percent, as higher revenue failed to keep pace with increased spending on order fulfillment and digital content.

Revenue, along with revenue guidance for the current quarter, missed Wall Street’s expectations — but investors still sent the world’s top online retailer’s stock up more than 10 percent in after-hours trading.

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Amazon.com Inc. said Tuesday that it earned $97 million, or 21 cents per share, in the October-December period. That’s down from $177 million, or 38 cents per share, in the same period in 2011. Revenue for the crucial holiday quarter grew 22 percent to $21.27 billion from $17.43 billion.

Analysts had expected earnings of 28 cents per share on revenue of $22.26 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

Amazon said operating income increased 56 percent to $405 million from $260 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

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