Microsoft is expected to report a big loss today

Satya Nadella MicrosoftAPMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft releases its Q4 and fiscal year earnings after the market closes on Tuesday, and the street expects the company to report a loss of 30 cents a share.

This expected loss is thanks to the giant $US7.6 billion write-off the company is taking on its Nokia acquisition and its new round of 7,800 layoffs.

Excluding the write-off and layoffs, Microsoft is expected to report:

  • Earnings per share of 56 cents, compared to 55 cents in the year-ago quarter.
  • Revenue of 22.06 billion, compared to $US23.38 billion.

The decline in sales is due to a whole bunch of factors:

  • The transition of its Microsoft Office business to the cloud, which Microsoft says should result in making more money per customer over the long haul. But it looks, at first, like a dip in revenue because the revenue can’t be recognised up front, it has to be recognised over the course of a contract.
  • The decline of the PC market and sales of Windows licenses to PC makers.
  • Missing the boat on mobile, so sales of Microsoft’s mobile operating system isn’t picking up the slack for the PC industry declines.

This has been a turn-around year for Microsoft, as it re-tools itself into a cloud and mobile software company less interested in dominating the device and more focused on getting people to use Microsoft software on whatever device they want — whether it’s Windows, Macs, iPhones, iPads, Android, or Windows Phone.

On top of that, Windows 10 will be released next week, July 29, which the company is counting on to be its saviour after the public resoundingly rejected Windows 8.

Investors will be looking for signs that the turnaround is working such as if executives talk, in a meaningful way, about how much its customers are actually using its various cloud products.

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