Amazon Reports Strong Season

Amid mild seasonal shopping forecasts from Wal-Mart and Target, Amazon.com reported having the busiest season in its 10-year history on Monday. The online retailer is positioned for a very strong fourth quarter, with sales growing by as much as 28 percent over last year, said Bear, Stearns & Co. analyst Robert S. Peck the same day.

Company shares posted a second day of gains Tuesday after Peck upgraded the stock to "Outperform," from "Peer Perform," on expectations that the company will benefit from a growing Internet retail market. With increasing broadband penetration, diminishing computer prices, and improved online security, Web commerce is poised to far exceed the 2 percent of the total retail market it currently holds, said Peck in a statement.

"We continue to believe that e-commerce is still just in its early phase and that Amazon is poised to benefit from its burgeoning growth," Peck wrote in a research note. "Furthermore, we think that the Street has been overly pessimistic on Amazon.com recently, and that competition and margin pressure have investors overly concerned."

In another first for Amazon, the company reported Monday that sales of consumer electronics, like iPods and DVD players, bettered book sales over the Thanksgiving weekend for the first time in its history.

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