Amazon.com Inc. saw big sales during the holiday season, reporting Tuesday that fourth-quarter revenue rose 22% to $21.27 billion from the same quarter a year earlier.
But the Internet retail giant's sales and earnings missed Wall Street's estimates. Profit for the three months ended Dec. 31 declined 45% to $97 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with $177 million, or 38 cents, in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts had expected the e-commerce company to post revenue of $22.26 billion and earnings of 27 cents a share.
Nonetheless, Amazon shares surged in after-hours trading, rising more than 9% to $284.11 at 1:50 p.m. Pacific time. During regular trading before earnings were released, shares closed down $15.69, or 5.7%, at $260.35.
For the current quarter, Amazon expects sales to be between $15 billion and $16.6 billion, representing a 14% to 26% growth from the first quarter of 2012.
Amazon said that for the second year in a row, its tablet was the most popular item for customers, with the Kindle Fire HD the "No. 1 best-selling, most gifted and most wished-for product" across the company's merchandise lineup.
"At year-end, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle held the top four spots on the Amazon worldwide bestseller charts since launch," the company said.
The Seattle-based company is holding an earnings call with analysts at 2 p.m. Pacific time.