Microsoft's Cloud Has Business Booming Again

Paul Thurrott's Short Takes Microsoft Earnings Special Edition

Microsoft reported third quarter earnings of $0.95 a share on revenues of $26.82 billion, beating Wall Street's estimates by $0.10 a share and $1.05 billion, respectively. Net income rose to $7.42 billion, or 95 cents per share, from $5.49 billion or 70 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. In after-hours trading, it was down about 1 percent to $93.30 per share.

"Our results this quarter reflect the trust people and organisations are placing in the Microsoft Cloud". We are innovating across key growth categories of infrastructure, AI, productivity, and business applications to deliver differentiated value to customers.

Surprisingly, LinkedIn revenue increased 37 per cent, with continued acceleration in engagement highlighted by LinkedIn sessions growth of over 30 per cent.

The company notched wins across the board.

The Surface numbers are notable because it's perhaps the first indication that its hardware successes aren't necessarily limited to the Xbox (insert Zune joke here).

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"Dynamics products and Cloud services revenue increased 17 per cent, driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 65 per cent", the company said. The company's Intelligent Cloud group, which includes server, and enterprise products and services, reported revenues that were up 17% to $7.9 billion.

Microsoft Corp on Thursday topped for quarterly profit as the technology company signed up more businesses to its Azure cloud computing services and Office 365 productivity suite. Guidance will come on the earnings call. Revenues went up 21 percent for Windows commercial products and cloud services, 18 percent at Gaming, and 32 percent at Surface.

The cloud transition is changing the company's business model to one with a rising share of steady, recurring revenue from cloud subscriptions rather than traditional software sales.

But Windows remains the main revenue contributor for Microsoft's More Personal Computing business segment.

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