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Microsoft beats on revenue and profit, stock pops

Satya NadellaTim Mosenfelder/Getty ImagesMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft’s fast-growing cloud business helped the company post a nice beat for the holiday shopping quarter of 2015 — and the stock jumped by as much as 8%.

Here’s the report:

  • Revenue of $25.7 billion (non-GAAP) is down 2% year-on-year, but ahead of the $25.26 billion expected by Wall Street.
  • Earnings per share (EPS, non-GAAP) of $0.78, vs. $0.71 estimated.

Microsoft shares initially jumped more than 8% after announcing results, but gave up some gains and were trading up about 4% at about $54.20.

Cloud strength

Many of Microsoft’s businesses declined during the quarter, but the important businesses that investors believe are key to the company’s future, such as the cloud, delivered strong growth during the quarter.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud business — which competes head-on with the Amazon Web Services juggernaut — grew 127% from the same quarter in 2014.

Some of Microsoft’s hardware businesses also performed well during the final three months of the year, including the Surface line of convertible tablets, which grew revenue 29% year-on-year, and the Xbox gaming consoles — although Microsoft does not release Xbox sales figures.

By business unit, Microsoft’s Productivity business, notably including Microsoft Office, generated $6.7 billion in revenue, Intelligent Cloud (including Microsoft Azure) delivered $6.3 billion, and More Personal Computing (including Windows 10) generated $12.7 billion.

Overall, the Productivity business was down 2% from last quarter, but Office 365 continues to grow and make up for some of the shortfall with 20.6 million consumer subscribers. The More Personal Computing division was also down 5% from last quarter.

Microsoft says Windows revenue from PC manufacturers is down 5%, beating the overall decline in the shrinking PC market, but still noteworthy. Phone revenue shrunk 49% in constant currency.

Microsoft generated $1.35 billion in revenue from Microsoft Surface tablets alone in the last quarter, largely because of the new Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book laptops, the company reported.

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