What recession? Amazon posts amazing second quarter, but downplays Kindle

Amazon (AMZN) added its contribution to the NASDAQ party today with strong second-quarter earnings. The online retailer that Jeff Bezos built increased net sales by 14 percent, to $4.65 billion, year-over-year. Excluding the impact of unfavorable currency exchange rates, Amazon net sales would have risen by an impressive 20 percent.

Second-quarter operating income fell from $217 million in Q2 2008 to $159 million this spring. But that diminished number included a $51 million writedown for a settlement with Toys"R"Us. Likewise, last year's stronger number included a $53 million one-time, non-cash gain for sales of European DVD rental assets. So on a normalized basis, operating income would have risen by roughly $34 million. Investors applauded, sending shares up by more than 5 percent in the aftermarket.