Amazon.com ( AMZN) shares were rising in extended trading Thursday after the company said its sales and profit rose for the first quarter. The company, which reported its first-quarter results after the market closed, said earnings were $177 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with $143 million, or 34 cents a share, in the same quarter of 2008. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of 31 cents. Revenue for the quarter was $4.89 billion, an 18% increase from the year-ago period. Wall Street had forecast revenue of $4.76 billion. Amazon said sales of general merchandise and electronics rose 38%, and sales of books, CDs and DVDs were up 7%. Looking ahead, the company projected second-quarter net sales of $4.30 billion to $4.75 billion, while analysts are calling for $4.61 billion. Shares of Amazon were gaining 2.5% to $82.59 in late trading after ending the regular session at $80.61. Amazon was one of a series of high-profile companies reporting earnings following the close, joining Microsoft ( MSFT), Juniper ( JNPR), American Express ( AXP) and Amgen ( AMGN), among others.