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The Motley Fool Amazon.com FAQ (3.1)

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1. Why are there so many bears on this board? If they hate the company so much, why don't they just go away?
2. Does Amazon lose money on every sale it makes?
3. Would Amazon become profitable if it just cut back on advertising?
4. Is Amazon's book/music/video division profitable?
5. Do I have to pay tax on purchases from Amazon?
6. Didn't Congress declare a moratorium on sales tax on the Internet?
7. Does Amazon count shipping charges as part of revenue?
8. Does Amazon count promotional gift certificates as part of revenue?
9. What patents or proprietary technology does Amazon have?
10. Why aren't Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk integrated? I want Amazon.com to list UK editions if there isn't a US edition!
11. Can Amazon convert its convertible bond debt yet?
12. What is Accept.com? Alexa? Ashford.com? Audible.com? Back to Basics? Basis Technology? Borders.com? Della.com? Drugstore.com? Exchange.com? Eziba.com? Gear.com? Greenlight.com? Greg Manning Auctions? Homegrocer.com? the Internet Movie Database? Junglee? Kozmo.com? LiveBid? Living.com? NextCard? Pets.com? PlanetAll? Sothebys.Amazon.com? Tool Crib of the North? ToysRUs.com? WineShopper.com?
13. How much Amazon stock has Jeff Bezos sold?
14. Hey, the Motley Fool carries Amazon advertising! The Rule Breaker Portfolio owns the stock! Isn't there a conflict of interest?
15. When's the split?
16. How do I put text in italics or boldface?
17. How do I post a table of numbers without messing up the columns?
18. Pointers to more Amazon information

1. Why are there so many bears on this board? If they hate the company so much, why don't they just go away?

However you look at it, a company which achieves a market capitalization of $30 billion within four years of opening its doors is a remarkable thing and worthy of discussion. Some bears think that Internet stocks represent a mania of historic proportions and they want to talk about the craze. Some bears are short-selling Amazon stock and they have an interest in discussing Amazon and evaluating its future direction. A few "bears" actually want to buy Amazon stock but think the current price is too high.

The bottom line is that negative messages about Amazon belong here just as much as positive ones. Other posters may have a different agenda or viewpoint from yours, but you might still learn something from them. Telling people who don't agree with you to go away is not constructive.

If you find a poster consistently annoying, you can always choose to ignore him or her. Next time you read one of their posts, click on the "unhappy face" and you will not see any future posts by that person.

2. Doesn't Amazon lose money on every sale it makes?

No. For instance, some of the things Amazon sells are expensive hardback books at full retail price. If you bought a few of those, it's likely that Amazon would make a decent profit on the deal. So Amazon doesn't lose money on every sale. On the other hand, some Amazon items, such as bestselling books at 40% or 50% off, are priced very close to what Amazon pays.

Moderately-frequent promotions aside, Amazon does not sell books for less than they paid for the book itself. In that sense, it doesn't usually sell books for below cost. A more subtle debate is whether this is still true if you add the costs of warehouse workers, warehouse space, and other things that must be scaled up with increasing sales. That debate is unsettled.

3. Would Amazon become profitable if it just cut back on advertising?

No. At least this has never been true in the past. Advertising costs were $21 million in 1997, $54 million in 1998, $141 million in 1999, and $130 million in 2000. It is not true that Amazon would have been profitable in any of those years, even if advertising costs were cut to zero.

If you are looking at some of Amazon's older quarterly reports (10-Q), you may find that the "marketing and sales" figures lump advertising costs together with the costs of handling inventory, packing boxes, and responding to customer inquiries. These latter costs ("fulfillment costs") amounted to $12 million in 1997, $65 million in 1998, $237 million in 1999, and $415 million in 2000.

4. Is Amazon's book/music/video division profitable?

In early 1999, Jeff Bezos and Joy Covey indicated in speeches and interviews that Amazon's U.S. book business had been profitable in the fourth quarter of 1998. However, this statement was not made in any official document, nor did Bezos or Covey provide any numerical data to clarify the statement.

In its 1999 annual report, Amazon stated that its U.S. book business had been profitable, on a "pro forma" basis, in the fourth quarter of 1999 and that they expected it would be profitable in the year 2000. However, Amazon declined to say what the profit was, or to explain in detail how the book division's expenses were calculated separately from the expenses of the company as a whole.

In the second quarter of 2000, Amazon announced that its whole book/music/video segment had become "pro forma" profitable. For the year 2000, the BMV segment showed a "pro forma" profit of $71 million.

The claims of segment profitability have all been greeted with skepticism by many AMZN bears.

5. Do I have to pay tax on purchases from Amazon?

Yes, you are legally required to pay, in most U.S. states, but Amazon is not required to collect the tax from you unless you live in a state where Amazon has a significant physical presence or "nexus." Furthermore, while owning a distribution center (for instance) in a state would normally cause Amazon to have "nexus" in that state, Amazon avoids this through the legal fiction of creating a wholly owned subsidiary, which owns and operates the distribution center instead of Amazon itself. As of this writing, Amazon collects sales tax only in the state of Washington.

If you live in a U.S. state other than Washington and order something from Amazon, your state probably has a use tax which is equivalent to the sales tax you would pay if you bought the same thing in-state. Currently, Amazon is not required to collect this tax from you and send it to your state government. A relevant Supreme Court decision is Quill Corp v. North Dakota (1992). (http://supct.law.cornell.edu:8080/supct/html/91-0194.ZS.html)

In theory, you are supposed to pay the use tax on your own! Contact your state or local government for information on how to pay. If Amazon does not collect tax from you and you do not pay it by yourself, then Amazon is not breaking the law, but you are. However, few people comply with this law, and it is unlikely that you will ever be caught or forced to pay. If you are making large purchases, the issue might conceivably come up in a tax audit.

Obviously this system of widely-unenforced laws is not very satisfactory, especially not to state governments who would like to collect tax revenue. It's possible that the system will be reformed in the future.

In 1998, Congress created the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce to study this issue, among others. Although the Commissioners agreed in principle that the state sales tax system should be simplified and that there should be a level playing field between local businesses and remote Internet sellers, they remained divided on how "nexus" should be defined. The Commission's final report, delivered on April 12, 2000, was only supported by a slim majority of the Commission, not the two-thirds majority it was supposed to have to make recommendations to Congress.
(The final report: http://www.ecommercecommission.org/report.htm)

As of this writing, 32 states are participating in the Streamlined Sales Tax Project, to simplify and modernize sales and use tax collection. Six other states are official observers. (www.streamlinedsalestax.org)

6. Didn't Congress declare a moratorium on sales tax on the Internet?

No, that is a common misconception. The Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998 declared a moratorium on taxes on Internet access, which has no direct relevance to Amazon. It also declared a moratorium on new discriminatory taxes on e-commerce. But sales tax is neither new nor discriminatory.

Thus, the ITFA prevents states from inventing a new anti-Amazon tax. But it does not exempt Amazon from any taxes, new or old, that non-Internet retailers have to pay.

In May 2000, the original three-year moratorium of the Internet Tax Freedom Act was extended for another five years by the Internet Nondiscrimination Act of 2000.

(http://www.ecommercecommission.org/ITFA.htm)
(http://freedom.house.gov/library/itfa/sum2000.asp)

7. Does Amazon count shipping charges as part of revenue?

Yes. From the 10-K: "Net sales include the selling price of products sold by us [...] and also include outbound shipping charges."

8. Does Amazon count promotional gift certificates as part of revenue?

No. From the 10-K: "Net sales include the selling price of products sold by us, net of returns and gift certificate discounts."

9. What patents or proprietary technology does Amazon have?

Patent Number 5,715,399
Secure method and system for communicating a list of credit card numbers over a non-secure network
(Summary: When asking the customer which credit card number on file to use, only show some of the digits instead of all of them.)

Patent Number 5,727,163
Secure method for communicating credit card data when placing an order on a non-secure network
(Summary: Customer sends part of a credit card number via the Internet, then sends the complete number via touch-tone phone.)

Patent Number 5,960,411
Method and system for placing a purchase order via a communications network
(Summary: "One-Click" ordering.)

Patent Number 5,963,949
Method for data gathering around forms and search barriers
(Summary: Compute a bunch of possible inputs to a form-based website, try sending all the inputs, and compile the results for further processing.)

Patent Number 5,999,924
Method and apparatus for producing sequenced queries
(Summary: When trying to find historical information in a database, for example how an employee's salary changed over time, search the database efficiently by finding the times when the information in the database changed.)

Patent Number 6,003,024
System and method for selecting rows from dimensional databases
(Summary: When an entry in a database changes, say when a customer changes his marital status, create a new record for the customer without throwing away the old one, and record the time of the change. Now you can keep track of what the customer ordered when he was single and what he ordered when he was married.)

Patent Number 6,006,225
Refining search queries by the suggestion of correlated terms from prior searches
(Summary: When user does a search for a keyword, suggest related keywords which other users have recently used in combination with the first keyword.)

Patent Number 6,029,141
Internet-based customer referral system
(Summary: "Associates" network.)

Patent Number 6,064,980
System and methods for collaborative recommendations
(Summary: When a user rates an item in the catalog that is not yet rated by the recommendation service, automatically add the item to the recommendation service.)

Patent Number 6,144,958
System and method for correcting spelling errors in search queries
(Summary: When a user searches for "Great Expectations Dikkens," there is no match for "Dikkens." Check a list of words that users frequently enter along with "Great Expectations," and find the word "Dickens" which is close to "Dikkens." Then run the search "Great Expectations Dickens" and report the result to the user.)

Patent Number 6,169,986
System and method for refining search queries
(Summary: When a user enters a search term, suggest refinements to the search based on other terms which in the past have frequently been entered with the user's search term.)

Patent Number 6,175,823
Electronic gift certificate system
(Summary: Electronic gift certificate in the form of an e-mail containing a hyperlink. Selecting the hyperlink redeems the gift certificate.)

Patent Number 6,185,556
Method and apparatus for changing temporal database
(Summary: When making changes in a database that contains historical information, add and subtract rows as necessary to reflect all the time periods during which the information changed.)

Patent Number 6,185,558
Identifying the items most relevant to a current query based on items selected in connection with similar queries
(Summary: Rank the results of a search by how frequently similar users selected those results after performing similar searches in the past.)

For more information, see www.uspto.gov.

Many e-tailers do something similar to what is described in patents 5,715,399 and 5,960,411 and 6,029,141. Amazon has filed a lawsuit against Barnesandnoble.com over alleged infringement of patent 5,960,411.

LiveBid Auctions, acquired by Amazon, is said to have patents pending on live Internet auction technology.

10. Why aren't Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk integrated? I want Amazon.com to list UK editions if the US edition isn't available!

Traditionally, publishers buy the exclusive rights to a book by country. The exclusive US publisher and the exclusive UK publisher of a book may be completely different. Therefore, it is illegal to sell the UK edition of a book in the US. If Amazon listed UK titles on its US website, it would risk legal action from US publishers (and vice versa.)

11. Can Amazon convert its convertible bond debt yet?

In late January 1999, Amazon issued approximately $1.25 billion in convertible bonds, the largest ever bond issue of that type. Amazon pays interest to the bondholders at a rate of 4.75%, and the bonds come due in 2009.

At any time, the bondholders can choose to convert their bonds into AMZN stock at a price of $78.025 per share. Obviously, bondholders would never choose to do this when the price of AMZN is below $78.025. Perhaps less obviously, even if the price of AMZN is above $78.025, the bondholders will still not choose to convert! It is better to wait, continue to collect interest, and possibly convert to stock at a later time. The interest, plus the seniority of bondholders over stockholders, plus the option to get stock later, is always more valuable than just getting the stock. So bondholders are unlikely to ever voluntarily convert.

Amazon has the right to force the bondholders to convert if the price of AMZN stock closes above $117.0375 on 20 out of 30 consecutive trading days, prior to February 6, 2002.

For more information, refer to Amazon's SEC filings (available through the "Quotes/Data" button at the top of this page) and check out section Ex-4.1 of the 8-K filed on February 4, 1999.

In February 2000, Amazon issued another 690 million Euros worth of convertible bonds. These bonds carry an interest rate of 6.875%, payable annually, and are due in 2010.

Starting from the time of issuance, the Euro bondholders could convert their bonds into AMZN stock at a rate of E104.947 per share. On February 16, 2001, a "reset" clause lowered the conversion price to E84.883 per share because of the depressed stock price.

If the price of AMZN stock closes above E167.915 on 20 out of 30 consecutive trading days, prior to February 20, 2003, Amazon can withdraw the right of the Euro bondholders to convert the bonds into stock, while giving the bondholders an additional "make-whole payment" of E206.25 per E1,000 note, minus any interest already paid on the note.

For more information on the Euro bonds, refer to Amazon's SEC filings (available through the "Quotes/Data" button at the top of this page) and check out section Ex-99.1 of the 8-K filed on February 14, 2000.

12. What is Accept.com? Alexa? Ashford.com? Audible.com? Back to Basics? Basis Technology? Borders.com? Della.com? Drugstore.com? Exchange.com? Eziba.com? Gear.com? Greenlight.com? Greg Manning Auctions? Homegrocer.com? the Internet Movie Database? Junglee? Kozmo.com? LiveBid? Living.com? NextCard? Pets.com? PlanetAll? Sothebys.Amazon.com? Tool Crib of the North? ToysRUs.com? WineShopper.com?

A PARTIAL LIST OF AMAZON INVESTMENTS (see notes for details)

Stake Cost
----- ------------
Accept.com, Alexa.com, Exchange.com 100% $645 million
Ashford.com (ASFD) 17% $10 million
Audible.com (ADBL) 5% $18 million
Back to Basics, LiveBid, Tool Crib 100% $135 million
Basis Technology 11% ?
Della.com 22% <$45 million
Drugstore.com (DSCM) 21% $44 million
Eziba.com 20% $17 million
Gear.com 49% ?
Greenlight.com 5% $25 million
Greg Manning Auctions (GMAI) 3% $5 million
IMDB, Bookpages, Telebook 100% $55 million
Junglee 100% $190 million
Kozmo.com 16% $60 million
Living.com 18% $20 million
NextCard 0% $22 million
Pets.com (IPET) 30% $58 million
PlanetAll.com 100% $90 million
Sotheby's (BID) 2% $45 million
Webvan (WBVN) 6% $42 million
Wineshopper.com 61% $30 million

(Thanks to mort2000 and Paul Larson for supplying parts of this table.)

Accept.com was a start-up company that was developing long-range "e-commerce solutions." More details are not known. Accept.com used to have an amusing website that was rather vague about what the company actually planned to do, but the website appears to have gone away.

Alexa is a free Web navigation service that works with your browser. When you visit a site, Alexa provides reviews or other information about the site, and suggests related sites. Alexa has also produced zBubbles, a sort of shopping bot program that provides reviews and compares prices. A lawsuit against Alexa alleging that it violated the privacy of its users was settled in April 2001 for a couple of million dollars. (www.alexa.com)

Ashford.com is an online retailer of luxury products such as diamonds, watches, and pens. In December 1999, Amazon announced a deal with Ashford whereby Amazon would invest $10 million in Ashford, Amazon would acquire 16.6% of Ashford, and Ashford would market its products to Amazon customers until December 31, 2000. Ashford.com trades under the ticker symbol ASFD. Current financial snapshot of Ashford.com: http://quote.fool.com/snapshot/snapshot.asp?symbols=ASFD

Audible.com (www.audible.com) is an online source for audio content, such as audiobooks and radio programs, for playing on a PC or a portable digital player. In January 2000 Amazon announced an agreement whereby it would acquire 5% of Audible for an undisclosed sum (estimated at $18 million.) In return, Audible would pay Amazon $30 million over three years for promotion from Amazon. Audible.com trades under the ticker symbol ADBL. Current financial snapshot of Audible.com: http://quote.fool.com/snapshot/snapshot.asp?symbols=ADBL

Back to Basics Toys is a toy catalog company specializing in hard-to-find classic toys. In November 1999 Amazon acquired it for an undisclosed sum. Back to Basics will continue to operate its catalog in addition to contributing to Amazon's Toy section.

Basis Technology provides "internationalization technology" for Internet companies. In February 2000, Amazon acquired 11% of Basis Technology for an undisclosed sum. Amazon used Basis Technology services in launching Amazon.co.jp. (www.basistech.com)

Borders.com is an online bookseller. In April 2001, Amazon and Borders announced plans to launch a co-branded website later in 2001. (www.borders.com)

Della.com, also known as Della&James or DellaWeddings, was a wedding planning site. In September 1999, Amazon led a consortium which invested $45 million in Della.com. Amazon's stake was 22%. In April 2000, Della.com merged with WeddingChannel.com and closed down its own website. (www.della.com)

Drugstore.com (www.drugstore.com) is an online pharmacy and e-tailer of health and beauty products that opened for business on February 24, 1999 and went public on July 28, 1999. Amazon made investments in Drugstore.com both in February and July, and subsequent to the IPO Amazon owned about 26.7% of Drugstore.com, making it the largest single stockholder. Then in January 2000, Amazon paid Drugstore.com $30 million to increase its stake to almost 28%. In return Drugstore.com agreed to pay Amazon $105 million over three years, while some of the companies' shopping features would be integrated and Amazon would add a Drugstore.com shopping "tab." As of December 31, 2000, Amazon's stake in Drugstore.com was 21%.

Other significant Drugstore.com stockholder/partners include Rite Aid, a large pharmacy chain, and GNC, a nutritional-supplement chain. Drugstore.com trades under the ticker symbol DSCM. Current financial snapshot of Drugstore.com: http://quote.fool.com/snapshot/snapshot.asp?symbols=DSCM

Exchange.com operates two websites (www.bibliofind.com and www.musicfile.com) that enable used book and music sellers to list their wares in a database that buyers can search.

Eziba.com, launched in November 1999, is an online seller of handcrafted items from artisans around the world, based at the MASS MoCA museum in North Adams, Massachusetts. "Ziba" is the Persian word for "beautiful." In March 2000, Amazon announced that it had invested $17.5 million in return for 20% of Eziba.com, with warrants to acquire additional shares. (www.eziba.com)

Gear.com was an online store that sold closeout sporting goods, i.e. sporting goods that it picked up cheaply because of overproduction, a change in fashion, or whatever. In July 1999 Amazon announced that it had acquired approximately 49% of Gear.com for an undisclosed sum. In October 2000 Gear.com was acquired by Overstock.com on undisclosed terms. (www.gear.com)

Greenlight.com was an online car buying service. In January 2000, Amazon announced that it was acquiring 5% of Greenlight for an undisclosed sum (estimated at $25 million.) Greenlight promised to pay Amazon $82.5 million over five years and give Amazon warrants to increase its stake in Greenlight to up to 30%, in return for promotion to Amazon's customers. In January 2001 Greenlight.com was acquired by CarsDirect.com on undisclosed terms. (www.greenlight.com)

Greg Manning Auctions (www.gregmanning.com) is an online auctions and collectibles company. In February 2000 Amazon announced it was buying $5 million of Greg Manning stock. Additional terms of the investment were not disclosed. In addition, Greg Manning will offer products on Amazon Auctions and zShops. Greg Manning Auctions trades under the ticker symbol GMAI. Current financial snapshot of Greg Manning Auctions: http://quote.fool.com/snapshot/snapshot.asp?symbols=GMAI

Homegrocer.com (www.homegrocer.com) was an online grocer which delivers produce to customers in Seattle, Portland, and Southern California. In May 1999, Amazon spent $42.5 million to acquire 35% of Homegrocer.com. After Homegrocer went public in March 2000, Amazon's stake became 21.6%. In June 2000 Homegrocer agreed to be acquired by Webvan for stock. Amazon should now own 6.4% of Webvan's stock.
Current finanical snapshot of Webvan: http://quote.fool.com/snapshot/snapshot.asp?symbols=WBVN

The Internet Movie Database is a free website filled with cross-linked information about movies, television shows, and the actors, actresses, directors, writers, etc., who produce them. (www.imdb.com) Amazon acquired the IMDB in April 1998 at the same time it acquired Bookpages, which would become Amazon.co.uk, and Telebook, which would become Amazon.de. The acquisition cost for all three companies was $55 million.

Junglee Corp was a database technology company that, at one time, provided the software for shopping bots at several web portals. Amazon acquired Junglee in August 1998 for approximately $190 million in stock, and used Junglee technology to create a shopping service called Shop-the-Web. In July 1999, the founders of Junglee left Amazon, and Shop-the-Web was abandoned. Junglee no longer seems to exist. It is possible that Amazon still uses Junglee software but it is no longer advertised as such.

Kozmo.com provided one-hour delivery of movie rentals, DVDs, video games, music, books, magazines, and food. At one time it served the New York, Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Portland, and Houston markets. In March 2000 Amazon invested $60 million in Kozmo.com and acquired warrants to purchase additional shares. As of December 31, 2000, Amazon owned 16% of Kozmo.com. In April 2001, Kozmo.com ceased operations. (www.kozmo.com)

LiveBid Auctions provides live auctions over the Internet. Amazon acquired LiveBid Auctions in April 1999 for an undisclosed sum. (http://livebid.amazon.com)

Living.com was an online furniture store which launched on July 26, 1999. In February 2000, Amazon announced an agreement to acquire 18% of Living.com, with warrants for another 9%, for an undisclosed sum. In return, Living.com agreed to pay $145 million over five years to be Amazon's exclusive Home Living store. In August 2000, Living.com went bankrupt and closed its doors.

NextCard is an online credit card company. In November 1999, Amazon acquired a warrant for 9.9% of NextCard's stock. In May 2000, Amazon and NextCard launched their cobranded Visa card. (www.nextcard.com)

Pets.com (www.pets.com) is an online petstore. In March 1999 Amazon acquired approximately 50% of Pets.com for an undisclosed sum. In June 1999 Amazon's stake increased to approximately 54%. In February 2000 Pets.com went public and now trades under the ticker symbol IPET. Following the IPO, Amazon's stake in Pets.com was 30.4%. In January 2001, Pets.com voluntarily liquidated itself.

PlanetAll was a free web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. Amazon acquired PlanetAll in August 1998 for approximately $90 million in stock. In July 2000, Amazon closed down PlanetAll. Some of PlanetAll's technology survives in Amazon's "Friends and Favorites." (www.planetall.com)

Sothebys.Amazon.com was a joint online auction venture between Sotheby's Holdings, Inc., and Amazon. The venture was announced in June 1999. As part of the agreement, Amazon invested approximately $45 million in Sotheby's. The site itself was launched on November 19, 1999. In October 2000, Sotheby's and Amazon agreed to shut down the co-branded site and redirect visitors to Sothebys.com. (http://sothebys.amazon.com)

Tool Crib of the North is a tools and equipment catalog company. In November 1999 Amazon acquired the catalog company for an undisclosed sum. It did not acquire the five Tool Crib retail stores in North Dakota and Minnesota. (http://toolcrib.amazon.com)

ToysRUs.com is an online toyseller. In August 2000, Amazon and ToysRUs.com announced a 10-year agreement to operate a co-branded website. Under the terms of the agreement, ToysRUs.com will buy the inventory and set prices; Amazon will handle site development, order fulfillment, and customer service. For its services Amazon receives a combination of periodic fixed payments, per unit payments, and a single-digit percentage of revenue. Amazon also received warrants to acquire 5% of ToysRUs.com. (www.toysrus.com)

WineShopper.com is an online wine store. In April 2000, Amazon announced that it had invested $30 million in WineShopper.com in 1999. In August 2000, WineShopper.com merged with Wine.com. In April 2001, the assets of Wine.com were purchased by eVineyard.com. (www.wineshopper.com)

13. How much Amazon stock has Jeff Bezos sold?

Jeff Bezos sold $22.77 million worth of AMZN stock on November 2, 1998; another $20 million worth on May 12, 2000; another $5.51 million worth on February 2, 2001; and $6.19 million worth on February 5, 2001.

So, $54.47 million so far. This total does not include stock given as gifts.

14. Hey, the Motley Fool carries Amazon advertising! The Rule Breaker Portfolio owns the stock! Isn't there a conflict of interest?

Here is TMF's answer to the analogous question with regard to the Rule Breaker's AOL holdings. The issues are much the same with regard to AMZN.
http://www.fool.com/FoolFAQ/FoolFAQ0004.htm

15. When's the split?

Amazon stock split 2:1 on June 2, 1998. It split again 3:1 on January 5, 1999. It split again 2:1 on September 2, 1999. Bear this in mind when reading old posts.

As of this writing, no future splits have been announced.

For more information on stock splits in general, see http://www.fool.com/FoolFAQ/FoolFAQ0035.htm


16. How do I put text in italics or boldface?

For boldface, put <b> in front of the text and </b> behind it. For italics, use <i> and </i>.

<b>Boldface</b> shows up as Boldface.

<i>Italic</i> shows up as Italic.

<tt>Fixed width</tt> shows up as Fixed width.

WARNING: It is always a good idea to use the "Preview" button to see how your message will look before you use the "Submit" button.

17. How do I post a table of numbers without messing up the columns?

There are three ways. You can click the "Table Data" button when submitting a post, and the whole post will be presented in a fixed-width font. Or, you can use the <tt>...</tt> tags as shown above to put just the text between the tags in a fixed width font. Or, you can use the <pre>...</pre> tags, which will put the text between the tags in fixed-width font and also insert line breaks before and after.

WARNING: It is always a good idea to use the "Preview" button to see how your message will look before you use the "Submit" button.

18. Pointers to more Amazon information

There are buttons for a current stock quote, current news, and a historical stock chart for Amazon near the top of this page.

Amazon press releases are archived at:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/subst/misc/news.html/
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