In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Wall Street rewarded Amazon.com for its assurances that the company is on a path to profitability, raising the Web superstore's share price 18% in trading early Thursday. Though Amazon posted its worst loss to date on Wednesday, it also reported record revenues and announced that losses should narrow significantly by year's end.
The Internet giant lost $185 million, or 55 cents per share, on sales of $676 million during the fourth quarter of 1999. CEO Jeff Bezos says the company's overall operating loss will decrease later this year, dropping from 27% of sales in the last quarter of 1999 to the single-digits by the fourth-quarter of 2000. The e-retailer's U.S. book division is already profitable, but it accounts for less than half of total revenue.