Amazon Somehow Lost $39 Million Selling $61.09 Billion Worth of Stuff Last Year

The good news, if you're Amazon? You just sold $61.09 billion worth of stuff in 2012. That's roughly the GDP of Croatia! The less good for you but pretty funny for everyone else news? You somehow lost $39 million doing it. Business!

While Amazon did turn a $97 million profit this most recent quarter, the most striking figures from today's earnings report come from the full-year tally above. And while the Good Ship Bezos dropped some major change bringing aboard robot company Kiva and snapping up Instant Video licensing agreements like candy canes at Christmas, that still doesn't quite account for the order-of-magnitude gap between what it sold and what it earned.

What hurts the bottom line? The fact that its best-seller, the Kindle Fire HD, is a loss leader. Amazon Prime can't help. And catching up to Netflix content offerings is a killer. Most of all, though, Amazon's prime directive is still to get people under its tent, using its products, relying on its ecosystem. In other words: everything that makes Amazon one of the smartest, most patient companies in tech also gives Amazon one of the silliest balance sheets.

The company's having a conference call at 5pm EST to discuss the earnings; we'll be listening in and will update as warranted. In the meantime, rest assured that every time you think a Gold Box deal is too good to be true, it very likely is. [Amazon]