Microsoft Earnings Reflect Wide Range of Revenue Hikes

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Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) reported fiscal first-quarter 2018 results after markets closed Thursday. The software behemoth reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.84 on revenues of $24.5 billion. In the same period last year the company reported EPS of $0.72 on revenues of $21.93 billion. The consensus estimates called for EPS of $0.72 on revenues of $23.56 billion.

During the quarter, Microsoft returned $4.8 billion to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends.

Intelligent cloud revenue rose 13% and Windows OEM revenue rose 4% both nominally and in constant currency. The company now claims 28 million subscribers to its Office 365 Consumer subscription base. Revenue growth in the company’s Azure platform rose 90% year over year.

Microsoft did not offer guidance in its press release, but said that it would provide guidance during its conference call later this afternoon.

The consensus estimate for the company’s 2018 second fiscal quarter calls for EPS of $0.83 on revenues of $28.15 billion. For the full fiscal year ending in June 2018, EPS is forecast at $3.19 on revenues of $101.6 billion.

The company’s CFO, Amy Hood, said:

Our strong start to the fiscal year reflects the impact of our continued investment in product innovation and sales capacity to capture expanding market opportunities.

Revenue from sales of the company’s 2-in-1 Surface rose by 12% and search advertising revenue rose 15%, excluding traffic acquisition costs.

LinkedIn contributed $1.1 billion to first-quarter revenue.

Shares traded up about 4.2% at $82.05 in after-hours trading. The stock closed at $78.76 after posting a new 52-week high earlier in the day of $79.42. The 52-week low is $57.28. Prior to the earnings announcement the 12-month consensus price target on the stock was $81.83.