Microsoft Stock Soars Buoyed By Strong Cloud Results

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Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT) reported better-than-expected third quarter financial results after the market closed on Wednesday. Shares of the tech giant gained $4.90, or 3.92% to $129.91 after beating Wall Street estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Among Microsoft’s business segments, commercial cloud segment which includes Azure, jumped 41% to $9.6 billion during the quarter with Azure rising 73%. Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood said:

“Demand for our cloud offerings drove commercial cloud revenue to $9.6 billion this quarter, up 41% year-over-year. We continue to drive growth in revenue and operating income with consistent execution from our sales teams and partners and targeted strategic investments.”

Shareholders of Microsoft received $7.4 billion in the form of dividends and share repurchases during the March quarter, the company revealed in its earnings statement.

Shares of the Redmond-based company ended Wednesday’s regular trading session with a slight loss after hitting a record closing high of $125.44 on Tuesday.

MSFT Earnings & Outlook

Microsoft posted net income of $8.81 billion, or $1.14 per share in the quarter, up from $7.42 billion, or $0.95 per share, in the same period a year ago.

Excluding certain items, the company earned $1.14 per share in the quarter. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were calling for adjusted earnings of $1.00 per share.

Revenue tallied up to $30.57 billion, up from $26.82 billion in the prior-year period. Analysts had been expecting net revenue of $29.88 billion, based on figures compiled by Refinitiv.

Its More Personal Computing unit, which contains the Bing search engine, the Xbox gaming-console business, Windows, and Microsoft Surface devices, saw revenue soar 8% in the quarter to $10.7 billion.

Sales in its Productivity and Business Processes segment, which includes LinkedIn and Office 365, grew 14%, to $10.2 billion for the latest period.

Microsoft CEO Comments

“Our strong commercial cloud results reflect our deep and growing partnerships with leading companies in every industry including retail, financial services, and healthcare,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “We are delivering differentiated value across the cloud and edge as we work to earn customer trust every day.”

Microsoft Corp Profile

Microsoft develops and licenses consumer and enterprise software. It is known for its Windows operating systems and Office productivity suite.

The company is organized into three overarching segments: productivity and business processes (legacy Microsoft Office, cloud-based Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, LinkedIn, Dynamics), intelligence cloud (infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service offerings Azure, Windows Server OS, SQL Server), and more personal computing (Windows Client, Xbox, Bing search, display advertising, and Surface laptops, tablets, and desktops).

Through acquisitions, Microsoft owns Xamarin, LinkedIn, and GitHub. It reports revenue in product and service and other revenue on its income statement.

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