Microsoft set to report earnings after the bell

Paul Thurrott's Short Takes Microsoft Earnings Special Edition

Microsoft set to report earnings after the bell

The technology giant reported revenue of 26.8 billion dollars (£19.2 billion), a 16% increase on the same quarter previous year. Analysts expected Microsoft to earn 85 cents a share on sales of $25.71 billion, according to Zacks Investment Research.

"Our results this quarter reflect the trust people and organizations are placing in the Microsoft Cloud", Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

Microsoft's stock closed up more than 2 percent to $94.26 in Thursday's regular session. Revenues advanced 16 percent from the year before to United States dollars 26.8 billion and the operating profit lifted 23 percent to USD 8.3 billion. Server products and cloud services revenue increased 20% due to an 89% (constant currency) or 93% growth in Azure revenue.

Total revenue in the company's More Personal Computing division, which includes the Windows operating system, rose to $9.92 billion, beating the $9.26 billion average prediction of three analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Revenues of $26.8bn were up 16 per cent from $23.1bn in Q3 2017.

Office 365 productivity software, Azure cloud infrastructure services and LinkedIn professional networking services are among the company's growth engines.

There were 30.6 million Office 365 consumer subscribers in the quarter, up sequentially from 29.2 million.

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". LinkedIn even saw quite a surge, showing a 37 eprcent increase in revenue.

This transformation has led the $717 billion tech titan to lean away from legacy businesses and become a front-runner in high-flying segments such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and business productivity tools.

In an interview, Amy Hood, the company's chief financial officer, described the quarter as a "very strong" performance, "driven by the ongoing demand for our cloud services". Revenues went up 21 percent for Windows commercial products and cloud services, 18 percent at Gaming, and 32 percent at Surface.

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