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Amazon Stock Plunges on Third Quarter Losses

Online retailer loses $0.95 per share, despite net sales increase of 20 percent

Amazon shares were battered Thursday after Q3 losses exceeded Wall Street estimates, despite a 20 percent jump in sales.

Net loss was $437 million in the third quarter, or $0.95 per share on revenues of $20.58 billion. Analysts had been expecting a loss of about $0.76 per share. This compared with a loss of $41 million or $0.09 per share in the 2013 third quarter.

Also read: Amazon Q2 Losses Larger Than Anticipated

The news, announced after the market closed, sent Amazon stock down nearly 10 percent in after-hours trading.

The results left Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos looking ahead to the traditionally strong fourth quarter.

“As we get ready for this upcoming holiday season, we are focused on making the customer experience easier and more stress-free than ever,” said Bezos.

Also read: Authors Deliver Angry Message to Amazon Board Over Hachette Book Delays

Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak cited an increase in textbook rentals — as opposed to sales — and heavy product discounting as two important reasons why the company lost more revenue than expected.

“We’re looking at a number of different metrics over a long period of time,” he said. “Our goal is to maximize cash-flow over a long term. We don’t focus on individual margins.”

Among its list of Q3 highlights, the online retailer’s quarterly release noted a 10-episode second season for its comedy series “Alpha House” (featuring John Goodman) available exclusive on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video, and its critically-acclaimed dark comedy series “Transparent,” which stars Jeffrey Tambor.

Also read: ‘Transparent’ Review: Jeffrey Tambor Will Break Your Heart in Amazon’s Binge-Worthy Show

What the company didn’t mention was its ongoing feud with Hachette Book publishers. As TheWrap previously reported, “Colbert Report” host Stephen Colbert gave the company a very public middle finger in June, while Hachette authors scolded the retail giant for its tactic of delaying shipping times of Hachette-issued books, which discourages hard copy sales in favor of Kindle sales.