Microsoft up after Q1 beats, achieves $20B Cloud goal

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the Geek Wire Summit

Despite doom and gloom about its platforms, Microsoft had no problem impressing investors and analysts this quarter, generating earnings of $0.84 per share, well beyond the $0.72 per share analysts were expecting.

Profit in the period that ended September 30 exceeded analysts' estimates and sales rose 12 percent to $24.5 billion amid buoyant demand for Azure cloud services, used to store and run customers' applications in Microsoft's data centers.

"The transition to the cloud has been good - Microsoft has come a long way", said Sid Parakh, a fund manager at Becker Capital Management, which has $3.8 billion in assets under management.

Microsoft purchased LinkedIn, the professional social network, in December for $27 billion, in part, to boost the Dynamics business.

Microsoft's stock price climbed 2.8 percent to $80.97 in early after-hours trading Thursday after the results were released.

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Microsoft Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as demand for its cloud computing services for companies rose and its personal computer software business stabilized. "Our results reflect accelerating innovation and increased usage and engagement across our businesses as customers continue to choose Microsoft to help them transform".

Here's a look at what Microsoft products drove growth. But the big number as always was Azure revenue, which grew 90 percent. The rest is a 2% (2% in CC) increase in server revenue. In the quarter, LinkedIn added $1.14 billion in revenue and posted a $294 million operating loss.

Revenue from Microsoft's personal computing division, its largest by revenue, fell 0.2 per cent to US$9.38b but handily beat analysts' estimate of US$8.81b. Search ad revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs grew 15%, and Surface revenue rose 12% driven by Surface Laptop sales.

On the Xbox front, Microsoft says hardware revenue declined significantly - due to lower pricing and fewer sales - but overall revenue still ticked up ever so slightly thanks to increased Xbox Live transactions. The company had guided for between $23 billion and $23.7 billion, and in the year-ago quarter.

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