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Amazon shares up as quarterly revenues surge

Amazon shares have risen in after-hours trading after it reported a better-than-expected 43% rise in first quarter sales to $51bn.
The online retail giant saw its profits for the period more than double from $724m to $1.6bn.
Shares were up 7% in after-hours trading on Wall Street, as it also forecast a jump in second quarter profit.Net sales in North America, its biggest market, jumped by 46% to $30.7bn helping operating profit for the region to jump by 93% to $1.1bn.International revenues rose by 34% to $14.9bn though the retailer continued to be loss-making here - in the red by $622m for the first quarter.Meanwhile there was a surge in revenues for cloud computing arm Amazon Web Services (AWS), up 49% to $5.4bn.
The results come after Amazon revealed membership of Amazon Prime, its loyalty club that offers benefits including faster delivery and video streaming services, had risen to more than 100 million.They also follow tweets by Donald Trump attacking the retailer last month with a series of complaints about its tax practices and the threat it poses to smaller rivals.
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Elsewhere, Microsoft reported a 16% rise in revenue to $26.8bn for its third quarter to the end of March and a 35% increase in profits to $7.4bn.It was helped by strong growth in businesses signing up to its Azure cloud computing services - the second biggest player in a sector led by AWS.
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