Excerpt from an Amazon snapshot
Despite a global economic downturn, Amazon nearly doubled its annual profit in the past three years to $1.15 billion. Last year it had sales of more than $34 billion, up from $19 billion in 2008. Its stock is up a third from a year ago to $172 a share.
What gives? Analysts cite a range of factors, from the company's late-2009 purchase of shoe and apparel website Zappos.com, to the rise of its Kindle e-reader, to Amazon Web Services, which rents out computing power to other organizations.
Worldwide, Amazon had 33,700 employees at the end of 2010, about 9,400 more than at the end of the previous year.