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The company grew its employee base 67 percent from a year earlier, ending the year with 56,200 full-time and part-time workers. Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said the job additions were in operations and customer service to support Amazon’s growth.

For all of 2011, Amazon earned $631 million, down from $1.15 billion a year earlier. Revenue grew to $48.1 billion from $34.2 billion.

Amazon’s stock dropped $17.44, or 9 percent, to $177 in after-hours trading following the earnings announcement.