Microsoft Earnings Report Avoids the Intel Trap (MSFT, INTC)

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) had recently hit on 52-week highs and multiyear highs ahead of earnings. Now we know why. The software and tech giant reported that its operating income was $6.37 billion for the quarter, or $0.60 in earnings per share against a Thomson Reuters target of $0.57 per share. Sales were $17.41 billion against a consensus of $17.18 billion.

Investors had been a bit concerned since Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) had not blown its numbers out, and the thought was that if Intel was not stronger than expected and was at a multiyear high then perhaps the same would be true of Microsoft.

The total cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments came in at $59.529 billion. Here is a “by unit” breakdown with a comparison to a year ago:

  • Server & Tools business posted $4.57 billion in third-quarter revenue, a 14% increase.
  • Microsoft Business Division reported $5.81 billion in third-quarter revenue, a 9% increase.
  • Windows and Windows Live Division posted revenue of $4.62 billion, a 4% increase.
  • Online Services Division reported revenue of $707 million, a 6% increase.
  • Entertainment & Devices Division posted revenue of $1.62 billion, a decrease of 16%.

Microsoft cut its operating expense guidance to between $28.3 and $28.7 billion for the full year ending June 30, 2012, and it sees 2013 expenses coming between $30.3 and $30.9 billion.

Shares are trading up 2.9% at $31.92 in the after-hours session and the 52-week high is $32.95. Thomson Reuters currently has a price target objective of $34.26 on Microsoft.