Apps & Software

Microsoft Offers No Big Earnings Surprise

Surface
Source: courtesy of Microsoft
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) reported third fiscal quarter results after markets closed today. The software behemoth reported adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.65 on revenues of $20.49 billion. In the same period last year the company reported EPS of $0.60 on revenues of $17.41 billion. The consensus estimate called for EPS of $0.68 on revenues of $20.56 billion.

On a GAAP basis, EPS for the third quarter totaled $0.72, which includes a charge of $0.16 per share related to net revenue recognition for certain products. The charges are partially offset by a $0.09 per share benefit related to a fine the company paid in Europe.

For the full year, Microsoft expects operating expenses to fall to a range of $30.2 to $30.5 billion as a result of the European fine. The company also said its preliminary estimate of operating expenses for fiscal year 2014 is $31.6 to $32.2 billion. The consensus estimate for fourth fiscal quarter EPS is $0.78 on revenues of $21.19 billion. For the fiscal year 2013 EPS is forecast at $2.74 on revenues of $79.28 billion.

The company’s CEO said:

The bold bets we made on cloud services are paying off as people increasingly choose Microsoft services including Office 365, Windows Azure, Xbox LIVE, and Skype. While there is still work to do, we are optimistic that the bets we’ve made on Windows devices position us well for the long-term.

Of Microsoft’s $20.49 billion in revenues, $5.7 comes from its Windows operating systems group, a year-over-year boost of 23% for the quarter. The business division’s revenue increased 8% to to $6.32 billion. Adjusting for revenue recognition differences, though, the Windows group posted flat revenues and the business division posted a 5% gain.

The company’s online services revenues grew 18%, and advertising sales grew 22%, driven by an increase in revenue per search. The entertainment and devices division posted revenue of $2.53 billion, up 56% over the same period a year ago. Adjusted for revenue recognition differences, the Xbox division’s revenues rose 33% and the company’s Xbox Live product now claims 46 million members, up 18% over the same period a year ago.

The company also announced that its CFO is leaving at the end of the 2013 fiscal year in June. The new CFO will be named from among Microsoft’s “finance leadership team,” according to the press release.

Nothing about Microsoft’s results is likely to move it’s stock out of the narrow trading range it’s been stuck in for about three years now. The dividend yield of 3.2% is what keeps investors tuned in.

Shares are up 1.6% at $29.24 in after-hours trading today. The 52-week range is $26.26 to $32.89. Prior to today’s release Thomson/Reuters had a consensus price target of around $32.70 on the company’s shares.

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