Microsoft Earns Less, But Beats Expectations

Microsoft Earns Less, But Beats Expectations

New CEO gets a pass

Microsoft reported a net income of $5.66 billion on revenues of $20.40 billion for the quarter ending March 31. But while the results handily beat earnings estimates, net income dropped slightly when compared with the same quarter a year ago.

"This quarter's results demonstrate the strength of our business, as well as the opportunities we see in a mobile-first, cloud-first world," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is quoted as saying in a prepared statement. "We are making good progress in our consumer services like Bing and Office 365 Home, and our commercial customers continue to embrace our cloud solutions. Both position us well for long-term growth."

The firm provided some interesting data about its quarter:

Windows. Licensing revenues to PC makers rose 4 percent overall, but rose a surprisingly strong 19 percent for Windows 8.1 Pro. Microsoft said the business benefited from a delayed migration by businesses away from Windows XP. Volume licensing to businesses grew 11 percent in the quarter.

Office 365. The firm's consumer-oriented subscription offering, Office 365 Home, gained 1 million new subscribers in the quarter and now has 4.4 million subscribers overall. Office 365 saw revenue gains of 100 percent, year over year, and the number of business seats doubled.

Xbox. Microsoft sold 1.2 million Xbox One consoles to the channel in the quarter, plus an addition 800,000 Xbox 360s.

Surface. While Microsoft did not provide Surface sales figures, it said that Surface revenues grew over 50 percent when compared to the same quarter a year ago, to $500 million.

Bing. Microsoft's web search engine grew its US usage share to 18.6 percent and saw advertising revenues grow 38 percent.

Azure. Microsoft's cloud OS experienced 150 percent revenue growth in the quarter.

On Friday, Microsoft will complete its $7.4 billion acquisition of Nokia and absorb, at least temporarily, over 30,000 new employees. This should make for an interesting quarter on many levels.

I'll have more about Microsoft's earnings in tomorrow's Short Takes.

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