Amazon’s Lips are Sealed

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is playing its cards close to its chest when it comes to the e-commerce giant’s plans for growth. Amazon credited sales of the Kindle for its better-than-expected fiscal first quarter, but chose not to give too many details about its plans for the device going forward, or anything else for that matter, during its post-earnings conference call.

That includes a question about Amazon’s reaction to the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and book publishers being touted as a big win for the Kindle maker. The DOJ has accused Apple and five publishing companies of colluding to change the e-book pricing model, one that Amazon had set up when it first launched the Kindle. Chief financial officer Thomas J. Szkutak said simply that Amazon did not think the suit was “a big win for Kindle owners” but that the company hoped it would be able to offer lower prices on more Kindle books.

A question on Amazon’s plans to offer more ad-supported devices was given the same treatment, with Szkutak saying the company had a “long-standing practice” of not discussing future plans. Nor did the CFO have much to say about the recent spate of patent lawsuits among technology companies, specifically the fight between Apple and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). He was asked if Amazon, being a manufacturer of the Google Android-based Kindle, had an intellectual property position on the issue or plans to acquire patents of its own. All Szkutak would say was that the company had a “great technical team” working to help customers, thus sidestepping the question.

Amazon’s earnings report, released Thursday after markets closed, said the Kindle was the top-selling device on the company’s website, but gave no sales numbers. The CFO would not give sales figures for the product line when asked.