- Microsoft reported earnings for the holiday quarter of 2018, and came in just about exactly at Wall Street expectations on revenue.
- Notably, Microsoft just barely missed expectations on earnings per share — but Microsoft says that it’s because of a one-time charge around the new tax laws, and it would have beat otherwise.
- Overall, Microsoft showed strong growth in all of its three business units, with Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and the Surface hardware line as standouts.
- Microsoft stock is down some 2.5% in after-hours trading at the time of writing.
Microsoft reported results for its holiday quarter on Wednesday after the bell — and posted earnings that fell short of Wall Street expectations, though it showed stronger-than-expected cloud revenue.
Microsoft stock is down some 2.5% in after-hours trading at the time of writing. Microsoft came into this earnings season from a position of strength: Microsoft currently holds the title of world’s most valuable company, with Amazon in a very close second.
Specifically, Microsoft reported:
- Earnings of $1.08 a share, versus Wall Street estimates of $1.09.
- Revenues of $32.5 billion, exactly in line with analyst consensus.
- Intelligent Cloud revenue of $9.38 billion, above analyst estimates of $9.27 billion.
Importantly, Microsoft would have actually beaten Wall Street estimates on earnings per share by $0.01, except that the company took a one-time charge related to new tax legislation in the United States. Other than that, Microsoft delivered growth across all three of its major business units — and showed that its cloud computing play isn’t slowing down.
Revenue from the Intelligent Cloud business unit, which encompasses the Microsoft Azure cloud and other related products, was up 20% from the year-ago period, notching up $9.4 billion. The Microsoft Azure cloud, in particular, saw 76% revenue growth from the year-ago period, though the company doesn’t share specific figures.
Similarly, the Productivity and Business Processes segment was up 13% from the year-ago period, to $10.1 billion. That unit encompasses the Microsoft Office 365 cloud suite for businesses, which saw revenue growth of 34% from the same timeframe. Revenue from LinkedIn was up 29% from the year-ago period, as well.
Finally, the More Personal Computing segment, which includes Windows, showed signs of life. Revenue in this unit was up 7% from the year-ago quarter, to 13%. Revenue from licensing Windows to PC manufacturers was down 5%, Microsoft says.
However, Microsoft’s Surface line of PC and tablet hardware had a very happy holiday indeed, with 39% growth from the same period of 2017. The gaming division saw 8% growth in the same timeframe, with revenue Xbox subscriptions and services, including the Xbox Live subscription service, up 31%.
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