Microsoft beats on sales and earnings as Azure growth outpaces expectations

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp.

Daniel Berman | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Microsoft shares moved as much as 1% higher in extended trading on Tuesday after the company reported fiscal first-quarter results that were better than analysts had expected.

Here’s how the company did:

  • Earnings: $1.82 per share, adjusted, vs. $1.54 per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $37.15 billion, vs. $35.72 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Microsoft revenue grew 12% on an annualized basis, down from 13% growth in the prior quarter, according to a statement. Revenue from the Azure public cloud grew 48%, accelerating from 47% in the prior quarter. Microsoft doesn’t disclose revenue from Azure in dollars. Analysts had expected around 44% growth.

Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud segment, featuring Azure, Enterprise Services, GitHub and server products such as SQL Server and Windows Server, contributed $12.99 billion in revenue, up 20% year over year and more than the $12.73 billion consensus among analysts polled by FactSet. Revenue from the Azure public cloud grew 48%, accelerating from 47% in the prior quarter. Microsoft doesn’t disclose revenue from Azure in dollars.

The Productivity and Business Processes segment, which includes Dynamics, LinkedIn and Office, delivered $12.32 billion in revenue. That’s up 11% and higher than the $11.78 billion FactSet consensus.

Revenue from the More Personal Computing segment, containing search advertising, Surface, Windows and Xbox, came to $11.85 billion. That means the segment’s revenue grew 6% year over year, and it was above the $11.18 billion consensus among analysts surveyed by FactSet. Revenue from Windows device makers declined 5% in. the in quarter. Technology industry research company Gartner estimated that third-quarter PC shipments grew 3.7% year over year and saw the fastest growth in the U.S. in a decade.

The Commercial Cloud collection of products, including Azure, Dynamics 365, commercial LinkedIn and Office 365 services, added up to $15.2 billion in revenue, representing almost 41% of total revenue, up from around 38% in the prior quarter.

This is the first quarter Microsoft benefits from an accounting change that extended the useful life of its server equipment from three years to four years.

With respect to guidance, analysts polled by Refinitiv are expecting $40.43 billion in fiscal second-quarter revenue, which implies 9.5% growth.

In the quarter Microsoft announced the $7.5 billion acquisition of Zenimax Media, the company behind video game franchises such as Doom and Quake, and Microsoft failed to make a deal involving the video-sharing app TikTok.

In January, Microsoft announced a goal to be carbon-negative, which would involve removing more carbon than it emits, by 2030. In the fiscal first quarter Microsoft provided an update, saying it had extended an internal carbon tax to all parts of its operations and updated its code of conduct for suppliers so that suppliers will have to specify their emissions.

The company will give guidance and discuss the quarter’s results on a conference call with analysts starting at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Microsoft shares are up about 36% since the start of 2020, while the S&P 500 is up 5% over the same period.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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