Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares surged on Thursday following the release of its fiscal first quarter earnings report. The Windows-maker exceeded analyst expectations for both earnings and revenue, as demand for its cloud services continues to grow and Windows 10 enjoys strong adoption.
During the subsequent earnings call, CEO Satya Nadella and CFO Amy Hood highlighted a number of aspects of Microsoft's business. Below are five of the most important quotes from that call.
Commercial cloud revenue continues to rise
Microsoft's commercial cloud forms the backbone of its business. Office 365, Dynamics CRM, and Windows Azure are integral to Microsoft's future. For several quarters, Microsoft has been guiding for $20 billion in annual revenue from its commercial cloud services -- a figure it expects to hit by fiscal 2018. During the call, CEO Satya Nadella explained that Microsoft remains on track to hit that target.
We are making great progress toward our goal of $20 billion in annualized commercial cloud revenue run rate ... [it] now exceeds $8.2 billion.
Demand for Office remains strong
Despite growing competition, demand for Microsoft's office productivity suite remains strong with both consumers and business users, and Office 365 -- the subscription-based version -- is enjoying robust growth. During the call, Nadella drew attention to Office 365's performance, offering up a few figures to highlight its growing rate of adoption.
There are now more than 18 million consumer Office 365 subscribers. We surpassed 200 million downloads of Office Mobile ... Commercial Office 365 monthly active users grew to 60 million ... And we added 50,000 new small business customers in each of the last 19 consecutive months.
Windows 10 is benefiting Bing
Microsoft's search engine, Bing, has often been a source of controversy for the Redmond tech giant. Bing has, in the past, cost Microsoft billions of dollars, and it's never been profitable -- at least until now. In the first quarter, Bing finally achieved profitability. During the call, Nadella cited Bing's deep integration with Windows 10 to explain the shift.
Windows 10 is also driving increased usage of other Microsoft services. Specifically, Bing's share is up to 20.7% in the US and advertising revenue grew 29% worldwide, helped by Windows 10 users asking Cortana more than 1 billion questions.
Declining phone sales took a toll on revenue
Microsoft's quarterly revenue beat analyst expectations, but it was down on an annual basis. According to Hood, the drop was mostly attributable to Microsoft's smartphone business -- or lack thereof. Microsoft has been scaling back its mobile phone ambitions, and that was reflected in its quarterly results.
This quarter, revenue was $21.7 billion, down 7% and 2% in constant currency, primarily due to the changes we've made in our phone business.
Guidance is in line with analyst expectations
Microsoft's management expects to generate around $24.8 billion to $25.4 billion of revenue in the second quarter. Even if Microsoft comes in at the high end of that range, its revenue will still be down about 4% from the same period last year, but its guidance is largely in line with analyst expectations. Consensus estimates for Microsoft's second quarter revenue currently hover around $25 billion. During the call, Hood explained that Microsoft was anticipating sequential growth in all its segments.
In Productivity and Business Processes, we expect revenue of $6.6 billion to $6.7 billion ... For the Intelligent Cloud segment, we expect revenue of $6.2 billion to $6.3 billion ... We expect More Personal Computing revenue to be $12 billion to $12.4 billion.