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Amazon Releases Preliminary Q4 Highlights

Amid industry-wide scale-backs over the past number of weeks, Seattle-based online retailer Amazon.com Inc. Monday announced that net sales for the December quarter of 2000 are expected to exceed $960 million, an increase of more than 40 percent over net sales of $676 million in the fourth quarter of 1999.

Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2000 is expected to be over $210 million, an increase of more than 140 percent over the prior year. Pro forma operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2000 is expected to be less than seven percent of net sales, compared to a pro forma operating loss of 26 percent of net sales in the fourth quarter of 1999.

"We're pleased that during a period of broad softening in consumer spending, we delivered sales within our guidance, and at the same time met our bottom-line objectives," said Warren Jenson, Amazon.com chief financial officer. "We expect to report an inventory balance for year-end of less than $175 million, while also reporting an increase in gross profit of over 140%. We're entering 2001 in a solid financial position with approximately $1.1 billion in cash and marketable securities."

According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com chief executive officer, this holiday season the company saw dramatic increases in customers purchasing from the Amazon's electronics, kitchen and tools stores, as well as from the traditionally strong book, music, and DVD outlets.

Amazon.com was ranked 1st in Nielsen//NetRatings rankings of top holiday 2000 e-tailers based on total shopping visits, more than five times those of the second-ranked e-tailing site.