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Amazon Q3 2011 Profits Fall 73 Percent

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AMAZON Q3 2011
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(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc shares slumped after reporting weaker-than-expected results as it spent heavily on a new tablet computer and other long-term projects.

The stock plummeted 14 percent to $194.31 after hours, after closing at $227.15 on Nasdaq.

The world's largest Internet retailer said on Tuesday its third-quarter net income was $63 million, or 14 cents a share, versus $231 million, or 51 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue was $10.88 billion, up 44 percent from the third quarter of 2010, it added.

Analysts had expected Amazon to report third-quarter earnings per share of 24 cents on revenue of $10.95 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"Lower profit margins would be acceptable, but for the lower-than-expected revenue growth numbers," said Fred Moran, an analyst at The Benchmark Co.

Moran had expected third-quarter revenue growth of as much as 50 percent.

(Reporting by Alistair Barr; Editing by Richard Chang)

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