Published: Sat, July 21, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

Cloud, PC Trends Positive — Microsoft Earnings Preview

Cloud, PC Trends Positive — Microsoft Earnings Preview

With a revenue of $30.1 billion (up 17%), you wouldn't blame Microsoft's chief executive officer Satya Nadella for declaring it "an incredible year". Interestingly, Microsoft's More Personal Computing business was up 17% year-over-year, raking in $10.8 billion, and showing that Microsoft still relies on the segment for its overall revenue.

Microsoft today released its earnings report for FY18 Q4, showing revenues of $30.1 billion and $8.9 billion in net income.

Looking ahead, Microsoft plans to continue growth in the gaming sector by emphasizing user engagement, and noted that the growth rate in this sector will "moderate due to strong third-party titles launched a year ago".

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Intelligent Cloud revenues were $9.6bn, up 20 per cent. Server business revenues were up 24 per cent.

Azure has a 16 per cent share of the global cloud infrastructure market, putting it in second place behind Amazon Web Services according to estimates made in April by Canalys. Dynamics 365 revenue grew by 61% (56% CC), and all Dynamics products and services grew by 11% (8% CC).

Microsoft saw revenue gains across its full range of businesses including business services, gaming, Internet search ads, its consumer software including Windows and Office, and LinkedIn, the recently acquired professional social network.

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While Microsoft has reorganised its structure and de-emphasised its Windows PC operating system efforts - once the company's flagship business - corporate sales of the software still generate considerable revenue. "I don't see anything that should raise an eyebrow of concern", said Daniel Morgan, a portfolio manager at Synovus Trust who holds 418,716 Microsoft shares.

Net income rose to $8.87 billion, or $1.14 per share, from $8.07 billion, or $1.03 per share, in the year-ago fourth quarter. Despite the Surface line being a billion dollar business for the company, it's typically boarding on stagnate or declining revenue for Microsoft on the whole.

All in all, a familiar tale: cloud services are growing (although Microsoft remains reluctant to offer concrete numbers on Azure), and Microsoft seems to be successfully converting customers away from perpetual licenses and over to Office 365. Despite that being the case, Microsoft has managed to leverage its Xbox branded software and services to increase its gaming revenue by 39% and products such as Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass, and Play Anywhere titles.

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