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Amazon Earnings Up in Fourth Quarter

Amazon Inc. reported a net income of $225 million for the three months ending on December 31. This figure represents an increase of 9 percent from the previous year. Sales for that quarter were up 18 percent, or $6.07 billion.

The company said that sales would have been even higher if not for an "unfavorable" currency exchange rate. Amazon predicts that sales figures for the first quarter of 2009 will be somewhere between $4.52 and $4.92 billion.

Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world. The holiday season in 2008 was company's "best season ever." Customers were tracked ordering 13 items per minute on December 15, which was a record.

The company wants to continue to attract consumers with a combination of low prices, a wide selection of products, and free shipping. Amazon Prime is a service offered where customers can get a discount on their shipping costs by paying an annual fee.

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