Investors were enthusiastic about Microsoft's (MSFT -0.78%) stock this morning after the company reported better-than-expected sales and earnings for its third quarter.
The tech stock had gained 6.5% as of 11:37 a.m. ET.
Microsoft reported earnings per share of $2.22, up 9% from the year-ago quarter, and ahead of analysts' consensus estimate of $2.18. The tech company's sales of $49.36 billion -- up 18% year over year -- also outpaced Wall Street's expectation of $49.03 billion for the quarter.
Microsoft's commercial bookings and cloud sales were two bright spots in the quarter that management highlighted in a press release. Amy Hood, Microsoft's executive vice president and CFO, said in a statement that "customer commitment to our cloud platform and strong sales execution" helped push commercial bookings up 28% and cloud revenue up 32%.
Revenue from the company's Intelligent Cloud segment, which includes its popular Azure cloud computing service, spiked 26% to $19.1 billion in the quarter.
Investors are right to be pleased with the company's latest financial results, and two analysts were optimistic following the company's results as well. Analysts from Wolfe Research and Citi both raised their price targets for Microsoft's stock today.
Hood issued revenue guidance in a range of $52.4 billion to $53.2 billion -- an increase of 14% at the midpoint of guidance -- on the company's earnings call. And her fourth-quarter guidance for the company's three main business segments also came in ahead of analysts' consensus estimates -- fueling even more optimism for the tech giant today.