Amazon announced its first quarter financial performance and it has $16.07 billion in net income and earnings per share of $0.18. Its sales were up 22 percent from last year.

Wall Street analysts had expected the online retail company to bring in $16.2 billion in revenue this quarter with $0.08 EPS. These figures were a result of Amazon issuing guidance last January where it said revenue would be below analysts’ estimates. The company said that it expected net sales to be between $15 billion and $16.6 billion.

The company’s operating income decreased this past quarter 6 percent to $181 million versus $192 million in 2012.  Its net income also went down 37 percent to $82 million from $130 million in the previous year.

Last quarter, Amazon disappointed the market bringing in revenues of $21.27 billion and an EPS of $0.21, but was optimistic about the success of eBooks. Company founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that it would be a multi-billion category for Amazon and it grew 70 percent last year. More customers appear to be purchasing less physical books than digital — whether this carries over to this past quarter will be interesting.

Amazon has been in the news recently with reports saying that it would be releasing its very own set-top box to compete against Roku, Boxee, and Microsoft’s Xbox. Last March, the company also released its Mobile Ads API enabling developers to insert its display ads into apps to encourage users to download them from Amazon’s Appstore.

In fact, in today’s earnings, Bezos said that the company’s Amazon Studios team is working on a new way to “greenlight TV shows.” He goes on to say:

The pilots are out in the open where everyone can have a say. I have my personal picks and so do members of the Amazon Studios team, but the exciting thing about our approach is that our opinions don’t matter. Our customers will determine what goes into full-season production. We hope Amazon Originals can become yet another way for us to create value for Prime members.

In the future, one of the things that the online retail giant will most likely be concerned about is the online sales tax bill that is currently being debated by the US Senate. Yesterday, Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the congressional body will pass the bill. By doing so, it will allow states to collect taxes on out-of-state sales, which directly affects Amazon and other online outlets like eBay and Walmart.

Based on today’s earnings, Amazon is expecting that in Q2 2013, its sales will be between $14.5 billion and $16.2 billion, which amounts to 13-26% growth from the same time in 2012. Its operating income (loss) is believed to be in the range of -$340 million and $10 million, compared to $107 million a year ago.

At closing, Amazon’s stock price is up 2.20 percent at $274.70. In after-hours trading, it is up 2.38 percent at $281.32.

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