October 25, 2018 / 8:27 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Amazon third-quarter sales, current-quarter forecast miss estimates

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Oct 25 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's third-quarter sales missed analyst estimates and it forecast sales and operating income for the current quarter below estimates, sending shares of the online retailer down more than 5 percent in late trade.

The company forecast net sales of between $66.5 billion and $72.5 billion for the fourth quarter, below analysts' estimates of $73.9 billion. Amazon also expects operating income between $2.1 billion and $3.6 billion, below the $3.87 billion expected by analysts, according to FactSet.

For the third quarter, net sales rose to $56.58 billion from $43.74 billion a year earlier, but missed analyst estimates of $57.1 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Amazon's net income rose to $2.88 billion, or $5.75 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 from $256 million, or 52 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total operating expenses surged 21.8 percent to $52.85 billion as the company invests heavily in its Prime program, grocery delivery from Whole Foods stores and creating original video content.

Revenue from Amazon Web Services, the company's fast-growing cloud services business, surged 45.7 percent to $6.68 billion, narrowly edging past estimates of $6.67 billion.

Shares of Amazon were trading down at $1,690.90. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru)

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