Microsoft turned in a solid quarter that topped analyst expectations on Thursday, but it was the tech giant’s optimistic business forecast for the final quarter of its fiscal year that drew cheers from Wall Street.
Shares of Microsoft were up more than 3% in after hours trading on Thursday as company executives expressed confidence in the continued growth of its cloud computing business. The comments during the post-earnings conference call came with the annoucement of a better than expected outlook and boosted Microsoft’s stock, which had initially dipped slightly when the fiscal Q3 earnings report was released.
Microsoft’s results were part of a bevvy of tech earnings reports Thursday including:
Here are the key figures from Microsoft’s earnings report:
- Earnings of $US0.95 versus $US0.85 expected
- Revenue of $US26.82 billion versus $US25.77 billion expected
- Fiscal Q4 revenue guidance: $US28.8 billion to $US29.5 billion, compared to the $US28.01 billion expected by analysts.
Notably, these results come about a month after Microsoft announced a big shakeup that put Windows and Office into one unified product group, called “Experiences and Devices.”
Wall Street was looking for continued growth in Microsoft’s cloud businesses, mainly the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and the Office 365 productivity suite. And they got them: Microsoft’s cloud businesses posted huge growth for the quarter.
Revenue in the Productivity and Business Processes segment was up 17% from the same period in 2017, hitting the $US9 billion mark. That includes a 14% boost in Office commercial and cloud revenue over the same period, as well as a 37% gain from LinkedIn. Office 365 for business now has 135 million monthly active users, says Microsoft.
The Intelligent Cloud unit saw its own 17% boost, up to $US7.9 billion. This segment includes the Microsoft Azure cloud, which had a 93% revenue gain from the same period of 2017 – though Microsoft doesn’t break out specific revenue figures for the service.
Finally, the biggest surprise of all came from the More Personal Computing unit, which encompasses Windows, Xbox, Surface, and all of Microsoft’s other hardware initiatives. While that unit has seen stagnant growth for some while, it popped up 13% to $US9.9 billion from the same period in 2017.
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