Microsoft shares hit record highs, powered by growing cloud sales

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and AT&T CEO John Donovan

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and AT&T CEO John Donovan

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced a big increase in both revenue and net income, which stood at 33.7 billion USA dollars and 13.2 billion dollars respectively for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year.

Microsoft's net income rose to $13.19 billion or $1.71 per share within the fourth quarter, from $8.87 billion or $1.14 per share a year earlier.

Shares in Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT) jumped 1.45% to change hands at $138.40 apiece in after-hours trading Thursday, after the tech giant announced upbeat earnings results for the fourth quarter of its 2019 fiscal year.

Adjusted earnings also trumped investor forecasts (US$1.37/share versus US$1.21/share).

Microsoft on Thursday posted quarterly earnings that trounced expectations, citing growth in partnerships with companies on technology and cloud computing services. The Intelligent Cloud business includes Microsoft's Azure public cloud services plus Windows Server, SQL Server and others.

Revenue in the More Personal Computing business segment inched up 4% to $11.3 billion, with standouts in that segment including a 13% jump in Windows Commercial products and cloud services revenue.

Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 14 per cent driven by Office 365 Commercial revenue growth of 31 per cent.

Revenue for the quarter was $33.7 billion, up 12% from the previous year and well above analyst forecasts of $32.8 billion.

Microsoft's More Personal Computing business ended the quarter with $11.28 billion in revenue, ahead of the analyst consensus of $10.99 million. This makes people wonder whether the world's most valuable tech company, Microsoft Corporation MSFT, can come up encouraging results when it reports after the closing bell on Jul 18. Azure's 64% growth this quarter is still the lowest in recent times, declining from the 73% growth it experienced in FYQ3.

Mike Spencer, head of investor relations at Microsoft, said Windows results were fueled by customers upgrading from Windows 7, which will be retired next year, and the result of some PC customers stockpiling inventory in anticipation of possible tariffs.

Microsoft has reported its financial results for the final quarter of the 2019 fiscal year.

Nearly all aspects of Microsoft's business grew in the June quarter.

On the other hand, Microsoft's gaming business has stalled.

Microsoft has invested in areas besides cloud computing, raking in revenue from sales of Surface tablets, Xbox gaming consoles and a growing stable of software and services.

"Every day we work alongside our customers to help them build their own digital capability - innovating with them, creating new businesses with them, and earning their trust", said CEO Satya Nadella. Nadella says Microsoft is seeing larger, multi-year commercial cloud agreements and "growing momentum across every layer of our technology stack".

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