Microsoft beats on earnings and revenue, stock pops

Satya Nadella. Photo: Mat Hayward/ Getty Images for We Day.

Microsoft announced earnings for the fourth quarter of its just-finished fiscal year 2016 this afternoon after the stock market’s closing bell. Follow along!

You can read the full results here, via a Microsoft press release.

For the quarter, Microsoft announced:

  • Earnings of $0.69 per share on an adjusted basis, up from $0.60 a year ago. Analysts were expecting $0.58.
  • Revenue of $22.6 billion, up from $22.18 billion a year ago. Analysts were expecting $22.14 billion.

At the time of writing, Microsoft stock is up about 3% in after-hours trading.

Even amid the solid earnings and revenue, Wall Street is keeping a very close eye specifically on the growth of Microsoft’s cloud business — a crucial business with a strong potential for leading the company to further revenue growth, even amid a shrinking PC industry.

Microsoft says that it had a $12.1 billion “run rate” for commercial cloud products the last quarter — that is, if you took the amount it generated from business-focused cloud services like Azure and Office 365 and extrapolated it out a year, it would total $10 billion. The company’s stated goal is to reach $20 billion by 2018, a milestone investors really want to see.

To that end, Microsoft announced that its Intelligent Cloud unit, which houses the Microsoft Azure cloud business and the rest of the company’s tools for servers and data centres, grew 7% to $6.7 billion. Revenue from Microsoft Azure cloud, specifically, grew 102% from the last quarter. That’s a positive sign for Microsoft investors.

Revenue in the More Personal Computing segment, which includes Windows and the Surface, Xbox, and phone hardware businesses, sunk by 4%. Microsoft blames this largely on lowered phone hardware sales, amid layoffs and changes to the business, as the overall devices business lowered by 35%.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Productivity segment, which grew 5%, as the Microsoft Office 365 cloud productivity subscription service continues to attract subscribers. Still, while Office 365 is making money, Microsoft says that overall Office volume is down, as people buy less of the boxed software and more of the cloud-based service.

We’ll be covering the results as soon as they come in, so refresh your browser for updates, or click here.

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