Microsoft has seen the biggest income progress since 2018

Satya Nadella, Managing Director of Microsoft Corp., will take part in the launch and technology meeting of Viva Tech on May 24, 2018 at the Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles in Paris. The third edition of VivaTechnology brings together almost 1,800 start-ups together with the largest international corporations.

Christophe Morin | IP3 | Getty Images

Microsoft shares fell 3% on Tuesday after the company posted third-quarter earnings that were stronger than analysts expected.

This is how the company did it:

  • Merits: Adjusted for $ 1.95 per share versus $ 1.78 per share as analysts expected, Refinitiv said.
  • Revenue: According to Refinitiv, $ 41.71 billion versus $ 41.03 billion as analysts expected.

The software and hardware manufacturer reported annualized sales growth of 19% for the quarter ended March 31, according to the statement. This is the largest quarterly increase the company has seen since 2018, in part due to the surge in PC sales driven by coronavirus-induced bottlenecks last year.

The company announced that its Azure public cloud, which rivals market leader Amazon Web Services, has grown 50%, faster than analysts’ anticipated 46% growth. This was found in a CNBC review of 14 stock research notes. Azure revenue rose 50% in the previous quarter. Microsoft does not report Azure earnings in US dollars.

Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud segment had revenue of $ 15.12 billion, up 23% year over year and above the FactSet consensus estimate of $ 14.92 billion. Intelligent Cloud includes Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, GitHub and Enterprise Services.

The Productivity and Business Processes segment, which includes Office, Dynamics, and LinkedIn, contributed $ 13.55 billion to revenue, up 15% and more than the FactSet consensus of $ 13.49 billion.

Microsoft announced in the quarter that it had won an order from the US Army worth up to $ 21.9 billion in a decade for augmented reality headsets based on its latest HoloLens device. The company has also released patches to fix vulnerabilities in Exchange Server’s on-premises email and calendar software exploited by Chinese hackers. It also completed the acquisition of video game maker ZeniMax Media, valued at $ 7.5 billion.

In terms of forecasts, the analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expect sales of USD 42.98 billion for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, which would mean annualized sales growth of 13%.

Microsoft stocks are up 17% since the start of the year, compared to up around 11% for the S&P 500 over the same period.

Executives will discuss the results with analysts and issue guidelines for a conference call starting at 5:30 p.m. ET.

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