Amazon hits a home run

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) became the latest internet company to surprise investors in a good way.

Net income increased 24 percent to $177 million in the first quarter, or 41 cents per share, compared with net income of $143 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, in first quarter 2008. Revenue soared 18 percent to $4.89 billion. Excluding the impact of fluctuating currency values, sales would have grown 25 percent.