Online retailer Amazon.com announced it was slashing 1,300 jobs or 15 percent of its workforce. In a statement, it said it was also closing a distribution center in McDonough, Ga., and a customer-service center in Seattle. A distribution center in Seattle would be operated seasonally. Amazon.com released the news just before it announced fourth-quarter losses, which were a littler lower than analysts' expectations. As a result of the job cuts, Amazon.com said it would take a charge of more than $150 million this year. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Amazon lost $545 million, or $1.53 per share, compared with $323.3 million, or 96 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Excluding one-time items and goodwill, Amazon lost $90.4 million, or 25 cents per share for the quarter, compared with $184.9 million, or 55 cents per share, last year. Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial were expecting a loss of 26 cents per share. Meanwhile, fourth-quarter sales were $972 million, up 44 percent from $676 million a year earlier.
Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.