Amazon announced its third quarter earnings that surpassed Wall Street’s expectations, as shoppers went on ‘Amazon’s’ website at its “Prime Day” promotions and bought groceries from its newly acquired chain Whole Foods Market. The company also said on Thursday that it expects sales to rise during the busy holiday-shopping season. Its shares soared 7 per cent in extended trading after releasing the results.

Amazon has been busy in the past few months. It gained 465 physical stores after it paid nearly $14 billion for Whole Foods; it announced a series of new voice-activated Echo devices; and it kicked off a public hunt for a place to build its second headquarters.

Prime Day, a summer marketing event Amazon has created to replicate the shopping frenzy that is more typical of the winter holiday season, helped boost sales. Revenue rose 34 percent to $43.7 billion in the third quarter, including $1.3 billion in sales from Whole Foods.

It now employs more than 540,000 people, a 77-per-cent jump from a year ago, with some of that growth coming from the Whole Foods acquisition. But the company said it has been also hiring software engineers, sales representatives and others to work on its cloud computing business, video streaming service and its devices.

In its earnings statement Amazon’s founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos focused on Amazon’s fast-growing digital assistant Alexa, which is included in its connected speakers and third-party products ranging from appliances to automobiles.

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