Amazon profit drops but revenue, shares rise

Amazon.com Inc.’s second-quarter profit fell as the leading online retailer continued to spend on expanding its business.

At the same time, higher merchandise sales lifted revenue 51 percent. Both results, issued late Tuesday, easily beat analyst expectations, as did Amazon’s third-quarter sales outlook. Amazon shares rose 6 percent in after-hours trading.

For the quarter that ended June 30, revenue rose to $9.91 billion from $6.57 billion last year. The company’s electronics and general merchandise revenue rose 69 percent to $5.89 billion, while sales of books, CDs, DVDs and other media rose 27 percent to $3.66 billion.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said “low prices, expanding selection and innovation” drove the company’s second-quarter growth. 

Kodak’s quarterly loss due to slump in cameras, film

While surging sales of inkjet printers are helping Eastman Kodak Co., the photography pioneer said Tuesday its second-quarter loss widened to $179 million on slumping revenue from digital cameras and film.

Aiming to cross back to profitability in 2012 after four years of losses, Kodak projected a bigger loss for all of 2011 than previously forecast.

Its fourth quarterly loss in a row amounted to 67 cents a share in the April-to-June period. It lost $168 million, or 63 cents per share, in last year’s second quarter.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $1.49 billion, with digital-imaging sales little changed at $1.09 billion but film group revenue down 14 percent at $396 million. 

Higher rents, management fees boost mall operator

Simon Property Group Inc., the nation’s largest mall operator, said Tuesday that a key metric rose more than 19 percent in the second quarter, aided by higher rents, management fees and other revenue. Its results topped Wall Street expectations.

The company also declared a quarterly dividend and increased its full-year financial outlook.

Simon said funds from operations, or FFO, rose to $583 million, or $1.65 a share, for the three months ended June 30. That compares to FFO of $487.7 million, or $1.38 a share, in the same period last year. 

Home prices rise again, but trend is not a rebound

Home prices rose for the second straight month in most major U.S. cities and are stabilizing after years of declines. But analysts say the trend in prices hardly signals a rebound for the troubled housing market.

A flurry of spring buyers is helping boost sales. At the same time, millions of foreclosures are in limbo, awaiting the results of a government investigation into improper practices by mortgage lenders. Once that probe is complete, banks will resume seizing homes and prices will likely fall again.

Boston, Minneapolis and Washington posted the biggest monthly increases. Prices in Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa, Fla. — three cities hit hardest by the housing crisis — fell to their lowest points since the recession began.

— From news service reports