Microsoft Corporation Crushes Fourth-Quarter Earnings Targets; Shares Rise

Microsoft is getting traction for its cloud computing and consumer products operations, leading to strong fourth-quarter earnings. Shares rose 2.5% on the news.

Anders Bylund
Anders Bylund
Apr 24, 2014 at 7:56PM
Technology and Telecom

Image source: Microsoft.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) just reported results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2014. Shares rose 2.5% on the news in after-hours trading.

Analysts were looking for GAAP earnings of $0.63 per share on roughly $20.4 billion in total sales. Microsoft reported earnings of $0.68 per share, and revenue was right in line with the Street view. The company provided non-GAAP figures to account for one-time events in the the year-ago period, but the current quarter's numbers were left unadjusted.

The results were driven by strong gains in two key areas: consumer products like the Xbox gaming console line, and emerging commercial products like the Windows Azure cloud-computing service.

On a conference call with analysts, Microsoft also provided revenue guidance for the next quarter, adding up to $20.7 billion, give or take $0.3 million. Wall Street firms currently see something like $21 billion in first-quarter sales, at the high end of Microsoft's guidance.

"This quarter's results demonstrate the strength of our business, as well as the opportunities we see in a mobile-first, cloud-first world," explained Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a prepared statement. "We are focused on executing rapidly and delivering bold, innovative products that people love to use."