Microsoft's sales fall short of estimates, shares dip | Reuters

By Pushkala A and Stephen Nellis

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) on Thursday reported quarterly revenue that slightly missed Wall Street estimates as it suffered a sharp dip in sales of its Surface tablets and laptops.Shares of the world's largest software company fell 1 percent to $67.62 in trading after the bell.Under Chief Executive Satya Nadella, who took the helm in 2014, Microsoft has sharpened its focus on the fast-growing cloud computing unit to counter a prolonged slowdown in the personal computer market, which has weighed on demand for its Windows software.For the fiscal third quarter, ended March 31, overall revenue on an adjusted basis climbed 6 percent to $23.56 billion, but missed analysts' average estimate of $23.62 billion.Revenue from Microsoft's personal computing unit, its largest by revenue, fell 7.4 percent to $8.84 billion, in the quarter. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $9.22 billion, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount.The business includes Windows software, Xbox gaming consoles, online search advertising and Surface personal computers.

Surface revenue plunged 26 percent in the quarter to $831 million, down from $1.3 billion in the year-ago quarter.Sales of high-end computers from other makers, along with the fact that many Surface products have been on the market for many months, hurt Surface sales, said Zack Moxcey, an investor relations director for Microsoft.The lower-than-expected revenue in the personal computing division came amid an uptick in the PC market. Worldwide PC shipments rose 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017, seeing growth for the first time in five years, market research firm IDC said earlier this month. Microsoft's Windows OEM revenue, a measure of the company's licence revenue from computer makers such as Dell Technologies and HP Inc (HPQ.N), rose 5 percent. Dell, in particular, reported strong increases in computer sales driven by high-end laptops.

Revenue from the unit that Microsoft calls "Intelligent Cloud," which includes server products and the company's flagship cloud computing platform, Azure, jumped about 11 percent to $6.76 billion in the quarter. Azure revenue soared 93 percent in the quarter. The service competes with Inc's (AMZN.O) Amazon Web Services, the market leader in cloud infrastructure, as well as offerings from Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google, IBM (IBM.N) and Oracle Corp (ORCL.N).

Microsoft also, for the first time, reported a revenue growth rate for Dynamics 365, its competitor to Inc's (CRM.N) online sales software. Revenue grew 82 percent in constant currency, though the firm did not give an absolute dollar total.The company's net income rose to $4.80 billion, or 61 cents per share, in the quarter, from $3.76 billion, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.Excluding one-time items, Microsoft earned 73 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected 70 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S ( said LinkedIn, which it bought for about $26 billion, contributed $975 million in revenue in the quarter.Microsoft's shares had risen 9.9 percent this year through Thursday, eclipsing the 7 percent gain in the broader S&P 500 .SPX. (Reporting by Pushkala A and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Bill Rigby)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Apr 28, 2017 03:30 AM

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