For its third fiscal quarter, Microsoft has reported that earnings increased by 19 percent, beating analyst expectations. However, revenue numbers were slightly weaker than expected.
Janet I. Tu with The Seattle Times reported, “In its fiscal third quarter, which ended March 31, Redmond-based Microsoft exceeded analysts’ predicted estimates for profit, though the company fell just slightly short of revenue forecasts. Buoyed largely by its traditional stronghold of business customers, Microsoft posted a profit of $6.06 billion, or 72 cents a share, on revenue of $20.49 billion. That’s a 19 percent increase in profit and 18 percent increase in revenue from the same quarter last year. The figures are also records for third-quarter revenue and third-quarter earnings per share.”
Nick Wingfield with The New York Times added, “During its fiscal third quarter, which ended March 31, Microsoft said revenue from its Windows division rose 23 percent to $5.7 billion from $4.63 billion a year earlier. The company reported better financial performance than the overall PC sector for several reasons. Its Windows sales for the quarter included the delayed recognition of revenue from an upgrade offer that allowed Microsoft customers last year to receive the latest Windows operating system, Windows 8, after it was released last fall. Without that deferred revenue, sales in Microsoft’s Windows division were flat, the company said.”
InformationWeek’s Michael Endler commented, “The uptick beat analyst expectations and was propelled not only by lower-than-anticipated expenses but also strong server and Office sales. At face value, the numbers seem like a solid rebuttal from Microsoft to its critics; the company, already burdened with Windows 8’s cool reception, has been a media punching bag over the last few weeks, with blows ranging from the PC’s continued decline to Goldman Sachs downgrading Microsoft’s stock.”
In addition to reporting its financial results, “Microsoft said CFO Peter Klein ‘will leave the company at the end of the current fiscal year, after nearly four years in role and 11 years at the company,’ adding that the software giant will be naming a new leader from its internal finance team in the next several weeks,” noted All Things D’s Kara Swisher.