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Shares of Microsoft Corporation Surge on Fourth-Quarter Earnings Surprise

By Anders Bylund – Jan 23, 2014 at 12:00AM

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Microsoft shares jumped more than 4% on a strong fourth-quarter report. Redmond beat Street estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Shares of Microsoft (MSFT -2.20%) trade more than 4% higher in after-hours action following the report of a strong fourth-quarter earnings surprise.

Microsoft's GAAP earnings fell 4% year over year to $0.78 per share, crushing the $0.68 analyst target. Revenues rose 11% to $24.5 billion, also a positive surprise.

Sales of devices and consumer hardware, including products like the Xbox One console and Surface tablets, surged from $2.8 billion last year to $4.7 billion in the just-reported quarter, albeit at far weaker margins. The segment also reported 46% lower gross profits.

Microsoft also reports its online operations under this banner, but doesn't break these results out in detail. Search advertising revenue under the Bing banner did increase 34% year over year.

In the commercial division, a 10% sales surge rested on strong sales of the SQL Server database and a selection of cloud computing services.

"Our Commercial segment continues to outpace the overall market, and our Devices and Consumer segment had a great holiday quarter," said retiring CEO Steve Ballmer.

"These results reflect our focus on execution, cost discipline, and long-term shareholder value as we continue to drive the strategic transformation of the company," said CFO Amy Hood.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft.  We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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