The granddaddy of all online survivors has reported a quarterly profit - in itself remarkable - and more so since this is its first move into the black outside the Christmas sales period.

For the three months to September 30, Amazon posted a net profit of $16 million (€13.7; £9.5m), or 4 cents per share. This contrasts with a year-on-year loss of $35m (minus 9 cents). The profit was achieved on the back of sales at $1.1 billion, up 33% on the same period last year.

Analysts, however, were grudging. Said Deutsche Bank entrail-raker Jeetil Patel: "They came in modestly above forecasts, but I think expectations were that they could have done much better."

Some fiscal fortune tellers believe that at current levels ($55.55 at midday Wednesday, NASDAQ, New York), Amazon stock is "dangerously overvalued".

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff