Microsoft modestly beats Wall Street expectations on earnings, stock goes nowhere

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Microsoft reported its quarterly earnings on Wednesday after the bell, showing a clean, but modest, beat on the top and bottom lines. It also announced a one-time charge of $US13.8 billion related to the newly-passed tax bill.

At the time of writing, Microsoft stock was down about 1% to around $US95 per share.

Microsoft’s results:

  • Earnings per share of $US0.96 versus $US0.86 expected.
  • Revenue of $US28.92 billion versus $US28.39 expected.
  • Factoring in a one-time charge of $US13.8 billion related to the tax bill, Microsoft reported a loss of $US0.82 per share.

The biggest winner this quarter was Microsoft’s Productivity and Business Processes segment, which includes Microsoft Office, the Office 365 cloud suite, and the LinkedIn social network. Revenue in this segment grew 25% from the same quarter in 2016. There are now 29.2 million consumer subscribers to Office 365, reports Microsoft.

The Intelligent Cloud segment, which includes Microsoft’s server software and the Azure cloud platform, grew 15% from the same period in 2016, as well. While Microsoft doesn’t disclose specific revenue for Azure, they say that revenue from the platform almost doubled from the year-ago period.

Finally, the More Personal Computing segment, which encompasses Windows, Surface, Xbox, and other products, grew 2% from the year-ago period. Revenue from the Windows commercial business and its related cloud services dipped 4% “due to the impact of a prior year large deal,” Microsoft says in a release.

Revenue in the Surface hardware business was only up 1% from the year-ago quarter, despite the availability of several new laptops and tablets during the holiday shopping season. However, revenue from gaming was up 8% from the 2016 holiday quarter, which Microsoft credits to the launch of the new Xbox One X video game console.

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