NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Amazon (AMZN) was gaining 2.7% to $380.53 Thursday after the online retailer announced a price increase for its Amazon Prime service.

In an email sent to its customers Amazon announced that it is raising the price of Amazon Prime from $79 a year to $99 a year. The change is the first price increase for the service since it was introduced in 2005.

In the email Amazon points out that it kept the $79 price point for the service that provides free two-day shipping for years despite rising fuel and transportation costs. The retailer also mentioned the range of movies and TV shows available through Prime Instant Video and the 500,000 books in the Kindle Owner's Lending Library that are available to Amazon Prime subscribers.

Despite the price increase an Amazon Prime member still costs less than a year of Netflix (NFLX) service.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates AMAZON.COM INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate AMAZON.COM INC (AMZN) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins."

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