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Two Ways To Play: Amazon Lost in the Trees

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Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

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Shares of Amazon (AMZN) are down in after-hours trading. According to Bloomberg, the world's largest Internet retailer beat expectations, but gave a forecast below analysts' estimates.

Amazon said third-quarter earnings came in at $0.27 per share, $0.02 better than the $0.25 consensus estimate. Revenues rose 30.7% year-over-year to $4.26 billion, just shy of the $4.27 billion analysts had been looking for.

Looking ahead, however, the company issued downside guidance for the fourth quarter. It sees sales coming in between $6 and $7 billion (the Street had been at $7.05 billion), with net income between $145 million and $305 million. That's somewhere between a decline of 46% and growth of 13% as compared with 2007's fourth quarter.

In after-hours trading, shares fell $7.09, to $42.90.

From the Bull Pen: It's a tough market out there, and even stocks that turned in great quarters got pounded. Nonetheless, when the fog finally clears, look to leaders like McDonald's (MCD) to outperform.

From the Bear Cave: It may be too late to chase Amazon, or any other one of the retailers with so many stocks so beaten up. Bears, however, can consider the S&P. Professor Depew did mention that the longer-term 777 level remains in play.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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