Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. blames the settlement of a patent-infringement lawsuit.

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SEATTLE — Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. said Tuesday that its third-quarter profits fell 44 percent, in large part because of the settlement of a patent-infringement lawsuit.

In a report released after the markets closed, the Seattle-based company said its net earnings were $30 million, or 7 cents a share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, down from $54 million, or 13 cents a share, a year earlier.

The slump in profits came despite a hefty rise in revenue. The company said net sales increased to $1.86 billion in the third quarter, up 27 percent from $1.46 billion last year.

Excluding a $40 million legal charge, Amazon said its net income would have been $50 million, or 12 cents per share.
The consensus forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Financial was 10 cents per share on revenue of $1.84 billion.
Amazon shares slipped 76 cents, or about 1.6 percent, to close at $46.17 Tuesday on Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock has been trading between $30.60 and $46.97 for the past 52 weeks.

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In August, Amazon announced it would pay $40 million to Soverain Software LLC to settle a patent-infringement lawsuit. Chicago-based Soverain had alleged that Amazon’s Web site infringed several Soverain patents on network sales systems and Internet server access control and monitoring systems.