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Amazon Shares Soar as Bezos Halts Drop in Profit Margins

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) shares are soaring in after-hours trading after the online retailer beat analysts' earnings-per-share estimates by four-fold and said profit margins held steady.

Amazon's margins, investors' biggest worry in the previous reporting period, came in at 1.45%, in line with the fourth quarter's 1.5%.

The Seattle-based Internet giant reported quarterly earnings of 28 cents per share on $13.2 billion in revenue. Revenue rose 34%, thanks in part to strong Kindle Fire sales. Amazon ended the quarter with $5.72 billion in cash and marketable securities.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Amazon to report earnings of 7 cents a share on $12.9 billion in revenue. Independent analysts polled by Estimize expected Amazon to book earnings of 11 cents a share on $13.03 billion in revenue.

CEO Jeff Bezos was extremely positive on the quarter, especially with the growth in books exclusive to the Kindle Store.

Amazon provided second-quarter revenue guidance, with the midpoint slightly below Wall Street estimates. Amazon forecast second-quarter revenue between $11.9 billion and $13.3 billion. Operating income will be between a loss of $260 million and a profit of $40 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $12.82 billion in revenue and 20 cents per share in earnings.

Shares of Amazon finished the regular trading session higher, up 0.8% to close at $195.99. Shares are sharply higher in after-hours trading, up 9.8% to $215.26, according to

Amazon will hold a conference call at 5 p.m. EST to discuss the results.

Interested in more on Amazon? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech on your wireless devices.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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