Winners In A Losing Economy

Two companies somehow doing OK these days are Amazon….. Inc., the world’s largest Internet retailer, posted an 8.7 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit after promotions and discounts lured consumers to its Web site. Sales beat estimates, sending the shares up 13 percent. Net income climbed to $225 million, or 52 cents a share, from $207 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier, the Seattle- based company said today in a statement. Sales rose 18 percent to $6.7 billion, compared with an estimate of $6.45 billion in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

And McDonald’s:

US fast-food giant McDonald’s said Monday its 2008 net profit soared 80 percent from a year, lifted by growing demand from consumers seeking low-cost meals in a deepening global recession. Net profit for the full year totaled 4.3 billion dollars, compared with 2.3 billion in 2007, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said in a statement. Excluding exceptional items, earnings per share were 3.76 dollars, widely exceeding consensus market forecasts of 3.63 dollars. The robust annual results came despite a sharp 23 percent decline in fourth-quarter net profit to 985 million dollars, from 1.273 billion in the 2007 fourth quarter. Fourth-quarter earnings per share were 87 cents, above expectations of 83 cents. “2008 was a strong year for McDonald’s,” chief executive Jim Skinner said in the statement.

RELATED: Much of Amazon’s jump is due to the Kindle, which sold out again over the holidays.